4 fluffy, Australian Shepherd puppies were dropped off on the side of the road in a cardboard box, left to die. Come on…fluffy puppies? What kind of person would do such a thing, and why? After being examined by our shelter veterinarian, it was determined that these 4 puppies had no retinas, making them completely blind.
These were not by any means our typically favored pit bulls, but of course, my sister, Hilary, and I HAD to take them in. These 4 little boys all proved to have very keen, heightened senses. Often times, we had to tell people that they were unable to see, because they were so good at getting around, that their visual impairment was not very evident. For the short time we were able to have these boys in our care, they melted our hearts. These pups inspired everyone they met, and illustrated that each life is precious and simply not disposable, regardless of disabilities or impairments. If I were to meet the person who threw these boys out to die, I would show them the beautiful families and lives they have touched today. Adopted to wonderful families, one pup hangs out with his young active mom and dad attending socialization play dates with other dogs every Sunday morning. Another has 4 humans and a boston terrier brother to spend his days with while attending training courses. The third cuddles with his great dane friend and kicks back with his little human.
The final pup and his adopter my sister and I hold very near to our hearts, as she is our amazing relative, who also happened to be born with visual impairments.
My 19-year old cousin, Leah, has had vision difficulties since birth. This young lady absolutely has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. She had continued to show interest in adopting and helping homeless animals since my sister and I got involved in animal rescue. When she saw a picture of one particular blind puppy, Leah immediately texted me to tell me that she would be talking to her parents that evening concerning the adopting this dog. Low and behold, her parents approved, and I was soon driving 40 minutes home in order sign paperwork and bring this pup to her. Later, Leah would come to tell me, “I remember when I first saw a picture of him and heard a little of his story…I instantly fell in love with him. That’s when I knew love at first sight was real. He makes me so happy.”
She and my other younger cousin would soon come to name him Oreo, because of his creamy white and black coloring.
A life that was left out in a box on the side of the road. A precious pup that was cast out and deemed unworthy to live simply because its impairments were a little outside of the “normal”. A life now saved by a beautiful, young lady. Oreo is thriving in his current environment, as well as his brothers in their subsequent families. Oreo can not only “sit” and “shake”, but his senses are so heightened that he is also able to “fetch” and even climb stairs. These activities far surpassed my expectations of this blind pup, and Leah continues to surprise my sister and I often with updates on Oreo’s new accomplishments. He even has a super cute head tilt when he is focusing or listening, and makes his way around obstacles with ease.
If you were to meet Oreo today, other than a little head tilt, you might have no clue that he is blind. He is an inspiration to everyone he meets, especially his beloved owner. When I asked Leah if there was anything she would like me to add on Oreo’s story, she said, “He has really inspired me to never give up on anything by what he has accomplished.“
We foster and adopt these unwanted animals, thinking that we are saving a life, when in actuality, we are the ones being saved. These once cast-aside dogs teach us what true appreciation and loyalty are, as it is ever evident in their smiles and tail wags, and they continue to inspire us with stories such as Oreo and his brothers’. A blind puppy tossed aside is now able to be a companion to and inspire his owner who relates with her own fair share of vision difficulties. In my eyes, that bond is difference enough to show that Oreo was absolutely “worthy”of a chance at life. A life once thrown out and deemed unwanted or unworthy is now a life able to bring just a little more hope into the world.