Even if your dog is blind, nothing can dampen their adventurous, fun-loving spirit! Dogs cope well with the loss of their sight, and all it takes is certain changes to the way they are looked after to get them back on their paws. In fact, if allowances are made for the loss of their eyesight, your dog’s life should be every inch as good as it was before.

My Talking Pet is excited to share a personal interview with Jenny, mum of a blind dog, aiming to teach about life with a disable pet. Enjoy!  

Could you tell us a bit about Bosley’s condition?

Bosley is a Bedlington crossed with a greyhound, aged 6. He has 2 siblings, George & Maggie and they are Border Terriers. Bosley was born blind, basically, his eyes never developed properly when he was in his mum’s tum. Unfortunately, Bosley has now had both his eyes removed, the last one was operated on in May 2019 and he’s recovered so well. He got glaucoma in his eyes and that’s very painful for dogs. So best that they come out and not have any more issues with the bad eyes. No sand in his eyes anymore when he goes to the beach.

How did Bosley come to be in your life?

I saw Bosley was looking for a new home on a friend’s Facebook page, he was 9 weeks old and so cute and I knew I just wanted to be his mum. His previous owners had given him up as they wanted a working dog and he couldn’t work. That’s the first photo I ever saw.

How has your experience been adopting a special needs dog?

My experience of having a special needs dog has been wonderful, I would encourage anyone to give a dog with any disability a chance. Bosley is a delight to have in our family. Makes us laugh everyday without fail. He’s cheeky, naughty, loving, caring and he’s really like every other dog.

What is a normal day like with Bosley?

Our normal routine is… he wakes up and starts yawning his head off, he has the biggest,  loudest yawn, he then goes off to find his sister, Maggie, and they howl good morning to each other, it’s great to hear, I allow them one howl a day! Sometimes he’ll lay on my bed and howl from there and she’s in another room singing back to him! We then go and play ball, he walks down the safe woodland footpath off his lead and we go to a park and play chuck the ball, bring the ball back and repeat for about 40 mins. If we meet any of his mates, we then walk around the field with them. All his friends’ owners know to say ‘beep beep’ if he’s charging towards them, then he’ll go around them and not bump into them. We come home and they all have breakfast and snooze, afternoon walk, we take them all out, George, Maggie & Bosley. Then more playing in the garden, more snoozing, then dinner. After dinner, they get a rich tea finger as their treat. At bedtime, he gets a nighttime picnic in his bed, consists of a few dog biscuits. He spends most of his spare time during the day demanding tummy rubs. He taps his foot from across the room and expects you to go over and rub his tummy. And most people he meets on walks, he’ll request a tummy rub.

What advice would you offer to someone caring for a dog with a similar condition?

Most important message for people with blind dogs is not to move furniture as they map places in there head, you can almost see him counting footsteps before he knows to turn from the kitchen into the dining room. They are so clever… And you also have to talk to blind dogs a lot more, as they are listening for your instructions. Training is important as a blind dog needs to respond solely to auditory cues. Find a trainer who specialises in training dogs with visual problems. Finally, teach family members to approach your dog cautiously, always using their name as they approach, as it is easy to frighten a blind dog by suddenly touching them.

Thank you for listening and reading about Bosley, he really is a little star in my eyes. He also has his own FB page, he uses My Talking Pet app for a blog, where he talks about his life and what he’s been up to. Last week at a dog show with the Dogs Trust, he came 2nd most handsome out of 78 dogs. I was pleased with that as he never normally wins anything.

All in all, no matter the visual abilities of your dog, there’s no reason why full or partial blindness should lower their quality of life. All they need is your love and attention, and you’ll both continue to enjoy life, and each other’s company, as much as ever. 

Here’s a MTP video of Bosley!

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