March 2016 Newsletter
We are a 501 (c) 3 group of volunteers spread throughout the United States and Canada dedicated to helping blind and visually impaired dogs.
In this issue:
Educating the public on how to approach your blind dog
Meet Forever Foster Zara
Upcoming events and recently adopted dogs
Educating the Public: How to approach a Blind Dog
by Charlie Mozitis
When you initially look at a blind dog, you may think “poor thing, how does he get around?”. But if you look at dogs as a whole, blind dogs aren’t that different then dogs with sight. Dogs use their nose more than their eyes, it sounds crazy but it is true. Watch a dog interact with their environment and you will see the dog sniff everything. Last night I was sitting on the couch with my Daisy sitting next to me. I went to pet her and even though she could see that my hand was empty, she sniffed my hand looking for treats. If you have ever watched Cesar Milan on TV, you will see him talking about how he wants dogs to use their noses when greeting other dogs and not their eyes. Having said all this, there are some differences with blind dogs.
Because blind dogs can’t see, they rely on their noses even more. So when we approach a blind dog, we need to give the dog some space and some time for them to “pick up” our scents. So, as you approach the dog, speak, so he can hear you before he can smell you. Let him pick up your smell and then put out your hand near his nose so he can sense that you are close, then you can pet him being gentle so you do startle him.
If you are lucky enough to have a blind dog as part of your family, you probably have your dog trained with “warning cues”. These “cues” may include “step up” when approaching a curb or steps etc. Another “warning cue” that could be added is “pet”, so when someone wants to pet your dog, he won’t be startled.
Some things to remember is that since blind dogs can’t see, you don’t want to startle them by sneaking up on them and touching them without warning. Also, don’t disturb a blind dog when he is sleeping. With a sighted dog, if you wake them, they can instantly see you, with a blind dog, they have to sniff and hear to become oriented to where they are.
So, remember always approach your blind dog while talking to him and allowing him to recognize you by allowing him to sniff you. Don’t forget to use the “pet cue” before you touch him. By following these simple suggestions, your blind dog can be confident and have a happy stress free life.
Please remember to respect your dog and any other dog you may encounter. No dog should be obligated to be petted. If your dog is showing signs of not wanting to be petted, respect him and don’t allow anyone to pet him. The same goes if you meet a dog, if they do not want to be petted, respect that and give them the space they are asking for.
By Dena Desantis
This beautiful girl became part of the BDRA family 5 years ago. Initially reported to be 1-2 years old and blind, it soon became apparent that Zara did have some sight and was likely to be closer to 3 or 4. It also became apparent that Zara suffered with some type of neurological issue. Shortly after arriving to her experienced foster mom (Cheri, a dedicated volunteer who has the proud distinction of being BDRA’s first foster mom), Zara began to have severe seizures. She would sit in her crate for hours on end with the door open and didn’t respond to encouragement to join the family. She began a medication regimen but became more confused and began to have accidents in the house. She would look in your direction if you called her name but didn’t seem to understand that you wanted her to come to you.
While Zara could enjoy a quality life, it was difficult to find a family interested in taking on the huge commitment for her care. One potential adopter found she did not have ability to provide for Zara’s many needs and returned her after just a few days, causing Zara to become more confused and disoriented.
With love and patience, Cheri and her family helped Zara to regain confidence. Unfortunately, Zara had a setback this summer when she became completely blind, leaving her unable to find her way back inside. However, after having been seizure free for two years, the veterinarian recommended discontinuing the prescribed seizure medication. This, along with continued love, support, and positive reinforcement from her forever foster family, contributed to a positive change for Zara and she’s achieved more mental clarity and alertness. Zara has re-learned coming in and out of the house on her own but she continues to experience the circling behavior associated with neurological impairment. Although she is easily stressed by new people, car rides, and unfamiliar situations, she has settled in to the home that she will know forever with a Scottish Terrier to be her best friend and eyes.
Zara is a content girl who enjoys the company of her foster mother and grandfather. She makes herself comfortable on the rug and will lie there for hours accepting treats, kisses, and hugs from her family. Zara loves treats, back rubs, and affection. She’s an amazing example of the time and effort BDRA’s foster families give to the dogs they eagerly welcome into their homes. Passionate about BDRA’s mission to better the lives of sight impaired fur children but unmistakably humble about her integral role in helping Zara, Cheri expressed, “We’ve given her love. That’s not really a lot of work.”
Help Blind Dog Rescue raise much needed funds through our partner Whip City Candle Company!!!
These Special Logo Candles for BDRA are available in 29 fragrances on Whip City Candle’s website. BDRA will receive 50% of the profits. The cost is $19.99 per jar . We will receive $10.00 for every candle or BeanTowne Bear sold.
Are YOU ready to meet the love of your life?
Duncan our handsome senior
Olaf the adorable
There are SO many more!! Go check out our adoptable dogs and fill our an application today!
BRDA adopters recently said goodbye to these beautiful dogs.
Virgil had a wonderful life with his adoptive mom, Gigi, who adored him. Sadly, he passed away on February 9. Adopted several years ago, he will also be greatly missed by his family and his long-term foster, Cheri. Rest in peace little Virgil.
Olive, was a sweet and gentle senior who was both deaf and blind, she passed away on February 16. Olive was fortunate to know the love of her forever mom, Priscilla, following the loving foster care given by Carol in 2014. Olive was both deaf and blind but as Priscilla recalls, “She filled my world with a special love. She never saw my face…she never heard my voice, though I spoke to her all day. My scent and my touch was how she knew me, and when she connected to it her tail would slowly wag and pick up speed as I got closer.”
Priscilla is grateful to have had the opportunity to love Olive at the end of her life, “Olive fulfilled what she was meant to do for me, and I fulfilled what I was meant to do for her.”
For a list of all upcoming events check us out on facebook:
You do not need to sign up for an entire day. Even a couple hours helps.
To sign up to volunteer at an event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
PENNSYLVANIA EVENTS for 2016
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2016 – Confirmed– Volunteers Needed
EVENT: Pets Plus Supply
PLACE: 700 Nutt Rd.
TIME: 10am – 2pm
CONTACT INFO: Chris or Paul at the store
SUNDAYMARCH 13, 2016 – Confirmed– Volunteers Needed
EVENT: Hanover PetCo
TIME: 11am – 2pm
NEW JERSEY EVENTS
SATURDAY APRIL 16, 2016– Volunteers Needed
PLACE: 6th & the Boardwalk
Ocean City, NJ
(on the field behind the Civic Center, next to the High School Football Field)
TIME: 12noon – 4pm
SET UP: after 9am
CONTACT INFO: TSBHR, Amy Allen, Box 24, Pennsville, NJ 08070. email@example.com
Look Who Got Adopted!
Our puppies Seger and ZIMBA!!
shown here playing with their foster sister
Congratulations on your furever homes!
Do you have any story ideas, questions or comments?
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Thank you for joining us today at Daisy’s Rescue (www.daisysrescue.com), we hope that you enjoyed todays article and that you found it helpful. Please remember to visit and like our Face Book page at www.facebook.com/daisysrescue . You can email Daisy at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can download Daisy’s Rescue podcasts at ITunes.com or www.daisysrescue.com/podcast/