Robin Wagner, from Burlington, Vermont, and her boyfriend were looking for the perfect dog for a long time with little success.
However, when she came across Blaze’s adoption profile online, she immediately knew that was it – Blaze was the right dog for her. It was love at first picture.
It wasn’t until she brought him home that they learned about his teeth.
Many Unexpected Surprises
“We didn’t even know about the teeth before he came home. That was a glorious surprise,” Robin told GeoBeats Animals.
But, the teeth were just the beginning of many unexpected surprises.
When they adopted Blaze – a German Shepherd/Greyhound mix – they were told that even though his eyes were sunken in, Blaze didn’t appear to have vision issues.
However, after they brought Blaze to a veterinary ophthalmologist, they learned that he was actually completely blind in the right eye, and required surgery to try to save any vision that he had left in his left eye.
This wasn’t a nice surprise at all, but they weren’t giving up on their precious boy.
“About two weeks post-surgery, I was on a walk with Blaze and he just started to walk into everything. I rushed him back to the ophthalmologist only to find surgery was not successful, and Blaze was not also blind in his left eye,” Robin said.
Blaze was now completely blind, but he dealt with this huge change with so much grace. He learned to navigate the world with as little issues as possible.
“We had his right eye surgically removed due to repeated infections. And I think I was more put off by the change than he was,” Blaze’s mom said.
Blind Boy Blaze
Due to many issues that kept popping up, it has taken them a long time to get Blaze healthy.
When they first adopted him, Blaze was only 50 pounds, but they managed to get him to 80 pounds.
After he was finally physically healthy, they could finally focus on his behavior. “We’re working very closely with a trainer to help Blaze feel a little less apprehensive about the world,” Robin said.
Him going blind caused a huge regression in his confidence. Blaze became very anxious and reactive.
Since Blaze can’t see what is going on around him, they started to communicate more with him to let him know and relieve his anxiety.
The training process was very challenging, but rewarding as well.
“Obviously, we didn’t anticipate the number of challenges we would face after we adopted Blaze. But given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. He’s my very best friend and I count my lucky stars every singe day for him,” Robin said.
Their cat, Satin, also doubles as Blaze’s guide cat!
Satin uses meows and chirps to warn Blaze and stop him from colliding with her and the furniture.
“Every time he’d be walking towards her, she would meow. She would meow, and he would stop and redirect himself,” their mom told People.
While Satin is not the cuddliest cat ever, she sure shows Blaze that she loves him. You can follow their daily adventures on Blaze’s Instagram profile.