The email from Melinda Lahmers came late on a Thursday afternoon. I was just about to leave the house for lacrosse pick up.
It read......"I wanted to let you know that we have an approximate 8 week old blind male puppy. Please let me know if you’d like additional information ASAP......".
OMG! OMG! I would definitely be late for LAX pick up now!
I immediately called my 14 year old son into the room and read him the email. As I headed out the door to pick up my daughter, I asked Gabriel to Google "blind puppy care."
As I reached the middle school, I called my son and he told me a few things he’d already discovered online. Puppies who are born blind don’t know any different, so you don’t really have to feel sorry for them. That’s just the way life has always been for them.
Gabriel also told me that blind dogs seem to do better with other dogs around. Bingo! We already had a 12 year old male Brittany and an 8 year old Smooth Fox Terrier. Gabe said it’s easier for a blind puppy to navigate his surroundings if he follows the jingle sounds of their collar tags. Having other dogs in the home makes them feel more secure.
By this time, I was already on the phone to Melinda.
When I returned from LAX pick up, I had to take one more step...... I had to tell/ask my husband. He’s a softie, so I was pretty sure he’d be in.
After all, when we signed up to adopt through GRRA, he laid down the law ----- Must be a Golden Retriever and must be a puppy.
As a result, we had said no to a lot of other adoption possibilities which was really hard, but this one was not only an amazing opportunity but also a fit for our narrow parameters we had already discussed as a family.
At dinner that night, we voted on names for our possible new pup. We had a Roscoe and a Roxie and had fostered a grown Golden Retriever, Rufus, who instilled in us our love for the breed.
Several good possibilities were tossed about and then Gabe said “Samson” because of the strength of the biblical character due to his flowing mane. My husband Bill pointed out that biblical Samson was actually blinded at the end of his story.
Name picked? Check.
Gabe and I drove to Lori’s house that following Sunday morning. It was immediately apparent that sweet Samson had some semblance of sight. He sat and snuggled in the car right next to Gabriel all the way back to our house.
The introduction to Roscoe and Roxie went fairly smoothly. We watched closely for a few days and then began putting Roxie (his new best friend) in the crate with Samson at night so he didn’t feel alone.
Next came the challenge of the doggie door and the deck steps down to the yard. With a few days of training and some doggie treats, Samson managed going outside and down the steps to go potty. Success!
We learned to change the texture under his feet around the house where a transition would occur to give him an alert while walking. We had a mat by the doggie door and another at the top of the deck steps. He doesn’t even hesitate with getting around these days.
We are so happy with our sweet puppy and so happy for the gallant efforts GRRA took to rescue this very special Golden.
We can’t imagine life without him.
------Submitted by Julie Ann Rice