BY JANET McAFEE
The small black terrier ran through the house, going up and down the stairs, playing joyfully with the household cats, taking turns chasing each other. When Landry meets another pup, his tail wags and soon the play begins. Watching this happy animal interaction, one would never suspect that Landry has a vision impairment.
Loving All Animals rescued 10-month-old Landry from the San Bernardino County Shelter at Devore. He was brought to the shelter by someone claiming he found the dog as a stray in a rural unincorporated area of the county. No one came looking to claim the stray dog. While we will never know the details of his past, he is a happy dog exhibiting no obvious signs of abuse.
During a veterinary exam at Desert Dunes Animal Hospital, Landry was given a diagnosis of microphthalmia, a genetic condition where the eyes are smaller than normal. However, eye problems can be complex and a referral was made to an animal ophthalmologist in Upland, the nearest specialist in the field, for a more complete diagnosis and prognosis. Loving All Animals arranged an upcoming appointment for Landry at Eye Care for Animals. We believe he has some sight based on his observed behavior. He chases butterflies, and one day he spotted a bird at some distance and chased it through the yard.
Safe and sound in a foster home with Debbie Karp, Landry’s happy personality has blossomed. His ability to navigate astounds everyone. Debbie taught him where all the stairs are located. She describes her foster pup who steals everyone’s heart, “He’s such a lover boy. Landry wants to be with people all the time, and enjoys sitting on laps. He is very smart. Once he gets his bearings and knows the home layout, you would not notice he has any limitations. Landry deserves someone who is compassionate, and wants to give him the best life possible…..just like any other rescue dog seeking a second chance.”
Dogs are much more adaptable than people, they tend to live in the moment and take things in stride. Dogs have an incredible capacity to smell, and their sense of hearing seems to heighten to make up for lost vision.
If you have a blind dog, you must safe proof your home. This includes removing any sharp protruding objects at the dog’s level. When you go out, your pup will enjoy the soft sound of radio music or television. Keep your furniture in the same location. While all dogs enjoy having their own bed, a blind dog especially needs a cozy place of his own with special toys. Blind dogs can enjoy playing fetch, and there are special balls that make a constant sound to help him track their location. Visually impaired dogs (or any dog) should never be left unsupervised near a swimming pool.
There is a wealth of information online about having a visually impaired or blind dog. The website www.blinddogs.net has many valuable ideas and resources. For information about adopting Landry, contact Loving All Animals at (760) 834-7000. To make a donation toward our rescue dogs’ veterinary care, go to www.lovingallanimals.org and designate the reason for your donation.
It is so rewarding to be around Landry. His cheerful optimism is contagious. There is something special about a “special needs” dog that gives you something no other dog does. Landry sees with his heart, and his heart is full of love.
“There is a happy update for Landry as he was just adopted by Seth and Brooke Wilbanks. They absolutely love him!”