Adorable Blind Puppy Doesn't Let Anything Stop Her From Becoming A Therapy Dog

11/8/2017

Rosie the puppy was 2 weeks old when her human, Judy Essman, noticed there was something different about her.The little Golden Retriever puppy from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, still had her eyes shut tightly, even though all of her brothers and sisters had started to see and explore the world around them. After a visit to the vet to break the membrane covering her eyes and a few days watching her at home, Judy knew what was unique about Rosie; She was blind.

Source: Doug Raflik/USA Today

Judy, a breeder with 13 years of experience, had never had a blind puppy before. Blindness is not a genetic trait for Retrievers, like in some breeds, and she was worried that Rosie would not have the same quality of life as her siblings.But she was determined to make sure that Rosie would have a life full of love, like any other puppy, even if it would come with a few challenges:

At about three to four weeks old [the puppies] begin walking around, playing, going outside. But Rosie would stumble into the water dish or bump her head into things. It was really hard for me at first to let her test by trial and error, but she has to learn or she will be dependent on me for the rest of her life.

As it turned out, Rosie quickly adapted to life without sight, relying more on her other senses, such as smell and hearing instead.

Source: Doug Raflik/USA Today

Judy and her husband also made some adjustments to their house, such as a ramp to help guide Rosie into the garden so that she could play with her brothers and sisters.While the other puppies will be sent to forever homes, Rosie will stay with the Essmans, and will soon start training for a very important job:

Rosie is very outgoing and loves people, which is an absolute must in order to be a therapy dog. 

Although it might take her slightly longer to be certified, Jake Guell, dog trainer and owner of service dog company Tails For Life, is confident that she will make an excellent addition to the team. Jake said:

One of the biggest things coming out of Rosie's case is that she will bring awareness to the fact that those with disabilities are just as capable as everyone else. 

Source: Doug Raflik/USA Today

Judy agrees:

I mean, you hear it all the time whether its a child putting themselves down because of their awkward height or a child who feels left behind with a learning disability. I'm hoping Rosie will help them relate on that personal level so they may work through any issues they have.

Once certified, Rosie will be sent into hospitals, schools and libraries to help vulnerable people of all ages.You can help Tails For life train and provide service dogs by making a donation.

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