Puck came to the ARLGP two days before Christmas in 2015. He was approximately 5-years-old and had been blind the majority of his life. His family was at a point where they were unable to care for him, and we happily welcomed him here and made it a priority to find him a new beginning.
Because of his obvious vision impairment, we did many tests and evaluations on Puck. Overall, he was a pretty healthy pooch. Due to a condition called Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), Puck had in fact been blind most of his adult life. We observed him to be quite quick to learn new places and spaces, and was incredibly friendly to our staff and volunteers. He did however seem a bit overwhelmed in the shelter environment and would get anxious when our team members would leave him for extended periods of time. Because of this, we placed him into our foster program. He went home with one of our veterinary technicians to get lots of TLC while we worked hard to find him a permanent, happy home.
Just a couple short weeks later, Puck was adopted. After spending a week in his new home, the family found the resident dog wasn’t all that amused with the company of a new dog. We completely understood and Puck returned to his previous ARLGP foster home, and we continued to work on finding him his spot.
In January a local retired veterinarian, Eve, took a look on our website. She wasn’t necessarily looking for a new canine companion, but once she saw Puck, she was highly intrigued…
“Just about a year ago my once numerous “pack” had been reduced to a 13-year-old dog going deaf, a 13-year-old cat trying to survive mouth cancer and 2 horses. I had not planned to adopt any more since I thought that would be stressful on the old pets, but I was looking at the reality of losing both my indoor pets at the same time and I knew I couldn’t live in an empty house. So I started looking online for a dog who would fit in.
I had jokingly said to friends that I liked Jack Russell’s but would need an old Jack or a half-Jack as they are so feisty. When I saw Puck featured on ARLGP’s website I was intrigued. I read that he had developed SARDS and was totally blind but healthy otherwise. As a retired veterinarian, I wasn’t put off by this and thought it might be an asset as he couldn’t chase the cat or the horses. So I promised myself if he was still there in a week, I’d go see him. But, to my dismay, he was adopted.
In a few weeks, I returned to the website to check out the dogs and found Puck back up for adoption. This time, I made an appointment to see him and took my other dog for the meet & greet. The rest is history.
He has never really acted blind and when he bumps into something, he just changes direction. Most people who meet him don’t know he’s blind. His former owners socialized him perfectly and he’s never met a dog or a person he doesn’t like. Since he’s young and my old dog can’t really roughhouse with him, we have playdates with other dogs where they run in the field or walk the Eastern Trail. His nose and hearing are great. He’s met the horses, but has no fear of them so has to be on leash so he doesn’t get under their feet. I’m sure if he could see them, he’d be a little more careful.
I’ve since lost my cat, so both dogs are important companions for me and each other. Puck does suffer from separation anxiety and if I’m going to be away from the house, he has to be crated which doesn’t bother him. I’m hopeful that in time, he’ll see that I come back. He’s also good in the car and loves rides. He’s noisier than any of the other dogs I’ve had and barks pretty loudly when he’s excited. I’m sure he’d have some minor complaints about me as codependent if he could voice them. 🙂
In my day, I’ve adopted cats, dogs, guinea pigs and 1 of my horses is a rescue, so when I think about getting another pet, adoption is high on the list. If you do your research and know what will fit best in your life, it’s great for all. We all come with baggage, after all.”