Blind Dog Doesn’t Let Disability Stop Her From Being a Service Dog
Judy Essman breeds beautiful English Cream Golden Retrievers through her business Golden Choice in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Recently, Essman realized one of her latest litter pups was a special dog with a unique set of eyes. Essman realized that the puppy, Rosie, was blind after her local veterinarian broke a membrane over Rosie’s eyes and that cutting made no difference in Rosie’s sight.
Essman said that while she’s been breeding dogs for nearly 13 years, many of whom go on to be service or therapy dogs, she never has had a puppy be born blind. It’s not a breed-specific defect in dogs, and the veterinarian believed it was due to an infection that Rosie had that she lost her sight.
According to Essman, Rosie stumbled around after she was born, while the other puppies learned much more quickly about their surroundings, but she wants Rosie to be able to be as dependent as she can for a dog with no eyes, so she doesn’t help her much. Puppy Power has come to the surface, though, as Rosie has truly risen to the occasion.
Rosie uses her other senses extremely well, and now almost always turns to the direction she hears something, using her hearing to guide her for training and commands. Essman believes that Rosie’s disability is something that she can use to help bring awareness to others when it comes to showing the ability of the disabled, and plans to continue to use Rosie as a service dog of a different sort.
Rosie is super outgoing and loves people, as evidenced by her adorable little tail wagging furiously upon meeting anyone, and Essman says that she will bring a lot of joy to children, especially ones with disabilities, as she shows how capable she is.
Essman also thinks that Rosie will show children who are hard on themselves because of a physical or mental challenge they have no control over that they are more capable than they may believe. She hopes that children will be able to relate to Rosie and know that if she can overcome, they can too.
Rosie’s therapy training may take a bit longer because of her disability, but once she’s finished, she’ll also be visiting nursing homes and assisted living situations where she can bring her fluffy love and goodwill too.
[Source: USA Today]
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