Blindness in dogs can come on gradually or so suddenly out of the blue depending on the cause. Either way, knowing that your dog is suffering from losing its vision can be a heartbreaking thing to go through.
While adjusting and adapting to your pet’s sickness and vision loss might be challenging and at times frustrating, it’s even more upsetting for the dog who suddenly has to reset its entire life and functions because of it. They have to find a new way to live and be in tune with their surroundings and continue to live their life to the fullest.
In those moments, their humans will be one of their most important supporters through the transition. There are times though when human guidance has nothing on the companionship of another pet like them.
That was exactly the case with Sterling, a sweet 11-year-old Siberian husky who went blind with glaucoma. While his family tried to do their utmost best to help their furry friend adapt to his new lifestyle, it wasn’t until when Walker showed up that the husky found new hope in his new life.
Now, he’s rediscovering the world with his new friend. Check out the whole story below.
Sterling, who lives with his family in Seattle, lost his eyesight three years ago because of glaucoma.
Lillian and Mark McKee, his owners saw how deeply the blindness affected their poor pup and they were afraid their fur baby won’t be able to adapt to his difficult new lifestyle. Thankfully, everything changed when Walker showed up.
“When he was diagnosed with glaucoma, it was devastating. We tried to fight it for a year and a half, but we knew it couldn’t prevent it for much longer.”
When Sterling met Walker, a 10-year-old Alaskan Malamute though, they became the best of friends and Walker accidentally became Sterling’s guide dog. As it seems, Walker who was very spirited was all Sterling needed to overcome the tough obstacles that he was now going through with the loss of his eyesight.
The owners explained:
“After his first procedure, he was pretty down, but we took him to the beach with Walker, and he perked up instantly. We’ve found that still doing his favorite activities like running, long walks, trips to the beach have really helped him to be his old cheery self. He [Walker] loves getting him to play, and part of me thinks he doesn’t even realize that Sterling is blind sometimes.”
Walker hasn’t just become a service dog though but he has become Sterling’s ultimate best friend.
Walker doesn’t just comfort Sterling and help him explore the world but he’s also right next to him in their very best moments. Their bond is so strong that they even eat and sleep together and this companionship has brought Sterling back to the happy dog he has always been.
“I think having someone to boss around is definitely why he’s still such a happy dog. I wasn’t planning on adopting Walker either, but when his foster couldn’t look after him anymore, he instantly became part of the family.”
To protect his eyes from any powerful light or sun, Sterling has a pair of goggles to put on.
Of course, Walker also wanted a pair of his own so his parents also got him one. They said:
“To protect his eyes, Sterling has a few pairs of ski goggles that we rotate. So he doesn’t feel left out, Walker has a pair too.”
Dogs rely heavily on their senses to make it around the world and to get to know their environment and losing one of those senses is a hard thing to adapt for them. Of course, they don’t really understand what’s happening to them so they can get confused, anxious, and frustrated.
Read more at the Dog Family category.