When Eddie first arrived at my house as a new Loved at Last Dog Rescue foster, I had never cared for a blind dog before. Sure, I had lots of experience with special needs dogs (dogs with mobility problems and behavior issues), but this was different. I really wondered how things were going to work out. I reached out to a friend who had experience looking after dogs with vision problems, and she summed up the solution in one simple phrase: ‘blind dogs see with their hearts’. It’s true! Eddie is a very special little dog with some unique characteristics.
Eddie’s story began several years ago. He was born in Iran, likely in a puppy mill where dogs are bred for profit with little or no consideration for their health or well-being. Eddie had a sibling (Koala) who was also blind, and the two hung out together – depending on each other for solace and companionship. We don’t know what happened then, but I have been told that the two blind dogs were dumped in a garbage container and left there to die. One can only imagine the terror they must have experienced. Thankfully, a kind stranger came along, and rescued the two little dogs. Koala and Eddie became members of the Loved at Last Dog Rescue family, and the search began for good homes for them.
Koala found a good home fairly easily, but Eddie was not so fortunate. After several foster homes and a failed adoption, his luck seemed to change when he went to live with a couple that was willing to give him the time and love he needed. Sadly, this home was not to be permanent, and Eddie became homeless along with his adoring owner. Finally, in an act of incredible courage and caring, his owner determined that this was not the right life for Eddie, and surrendered him back to Loved at Last Dog Rescue. That was how Eddie came to live with me.
Just like humans who have suffered extreme trauma, dogs adopt survival strategies to cope which can sometimes get in the way of them living a good life. Eddie’s greatest challenge is not his lack of sight, but his insecurity after having experienced repeated abandonment during his early years. Eddie retains some very immature behaviors including howling like a puppy and constantly wanting to suckle on his human – we keep a Benebone handy for him to chew during these episodes, so we aren’t nibbled all over! He also takes a long time to warm up to people, although once he is confident that you are friendly, he will be your Velcro dog – constantly by your side! As he can be nippy, he is not a suitable dog for young children. Eddie would be happiest as the ‘only’ dog, though he has bonded with one of our other dogs – possibly looking for a replacement for Koala.
Eddie also has a unique habit of twirling around in circles. He does this when he is excited, but also to avoid walking into things when he is in an unfamiliar place. At first, we worried that Eddie was suffering from a neurological problem, but it turns out that he is just fine. His recall is excellent, and he has no problem running straight to us when we call him. When we pick him up, he goes completely limp – totally trusting that we will scoop him up into our arms and love him! He also loves to roll on his back for belly rubs!
Eddie’s favorite activity is hanging out on the balcony and soaking up the sun. He also enjoyed our recent snowfall – getting right into it as you can see from the snowflakes on his cute little nose. He is a feisty little guy who has no problem letting us know what he needs – and he absolutely loves his treats and food!
If you think Eddie might be the dog for you, check out this link with his profile on Loved at Last Dog Rescue’s website. Eddie loves to bark so if this is a problem for you, perhaps look at one of our other wonderful pups instead. You will also need to be patient with Eddie at first, as he is very wary of strangers. However, once he gets to know you, Eddie will be your constant companion. If you live near Victoria on Vancouver Island, we can arrange a gradual transition so Eddie will have plenty of time to slowly get to know and trust his forever family. This adorable survivor deserves the very best and I know he will bring much happiness to some lucky person.
Written by Anne Parry