The greatest dream of all pups who spend their days in a shelter is to find a loving home and human parents who would make them feel loved and cared for.
They long to experience life outside the shelter walls and feel what it’s like to be free.
Sadly, older shelter dogs and special-needs dogs are perceived as less desirable and have a hard time finding a home.
Our following story is about Virgil, a sweet puppy who was born blind in a shelter in Louisiana. As he grew a bit older, he began dreaming of finding his happily-ever-after just like all his fellow residents.
Virgil Steals The Heart Of His Family
A great foster family in Ohio agreed to foster Virgil, and he moved into their home. They pampered him with care and affection, and the adorable puppy thrived. Soon, he began his search for a forever home.
When Emmeline and her husband saw Virgil, their hearts melted and they wished to adopt him. Since they didn’t know a lot about taking care of blind dogs, they did a lot of research and talked to people who had blind dogs.
He was three months old when they welcomed him into their home. They were worried about him and they wondered whether he would adapt to his new life.
As soon as they met him, they realized that they had nothing to worry about.
The same day he arrived, Virgil fit in perfectly with the family. He ran to the yard, introduced himself to his siblings, Biscotti, Carragher, and Stevie, and started playing with them. His parents couldn’t believe how fearless he was.
The Amazing Pooch
Ever since he arrived, Virgil wanted to do everything by himself. He didn’t even let his family carry him up the stairs. He did it himself.
That was just the beginning of the delightful surprises he was about to give them.
He quickly learned where all the furniture was and he moved around the house easily. Everyone who met Virgil was amazed with him. Some people didn’t even believe he was blind.
“… We have to remind people that he is blind because they have no idea and they usually don’t believe us and they say, he must be able to see shadows or something. He can’t see anything at all. He was born without his retinas attached, so it’s always been pure black for him,” said Emmeline.
Apart from being an extremely intelligent pup, he is also very affectionate toward his parents. He hugs them and covers their faces with kisses, showing them how much they mean to him.
Virgil loves his doggy siblings, too. When they go hiking, Virgil leads the way.
“He thinks he needs to be out front showing our other dogs how to do it even though he can’t see what’s in front of him,” Emmeline said.
Virgil always wears a shirt during their hikes because of his allergy to grass.
Living His Best Life
His mom believes that building trust and communication helps blind dogs become happier and more confident. Virgil walks well with a leash on, but he is not afraid to explore his surroundings when his parents let him off leash.
They use commands to warn him of any obstacles he might encounter on his way.
“He believes that if I chose to let him run free without the safety net of the leash, there must truly be nothing to fear and he explores without hesitation… Watching him explore is so rewarding to me because I know it’s built on his trust in me and the confidence we developed together,” his mom wrote on Instagram.
Virgil’s family is extremely grateful to have Virgil in their life. Their loving doggo was the reason why they decided to foster special-needs dogs. It was their way of paying everything back.
The wonderful pup has helped his family understand human disability better.
“There are so many people out there living with various disabilities that it’s just the only life they’ve known, that it’s just their life and they’re not lesser because of it. People with disabilities, dogs with disabilities can do literally anything,“ Emmeline said.
Virgil and his doggy siblings often post about their adventures on their Instagram account. They live their dream life.
Virgil’s family loves him and cherishes him more than anything else in the world.
We’re thrilled that Virgil found happiness with his forever family. We hope that his story will encourage more people to give special-needs dogs a chance. That’s all they need.