We’ve all seen seeing eye dogs leading the way for their humans. These guide dogs do a crucial job keeping vision impaired people from danger and helping them get around.
But what happens when it’s a dog who’s blind? It turns out, dogs can have their own helpers—like one little pup who helps out his bigger friend.
Meet Tao and Oko:
Tao is an 11-year-old golden retriever from Shepton Mallet, England, who is completely blind after both of his eyes were surgically removed due to glaucoma.
His owners told Somerset Live that they found Tao in “excruciating pain” and opted to have one of his eyes removed to improve his quality of life. About a year later, he lost sight in his other eye.
But the golden retriever has adjusted to his new impairment: “He is truly amazing and has learnt to deal with his sight loss so quickly,” owner Melanie Jackson told Somerset Live.
“Tao just gets on with things and nothing seems to worry him. He trusts his ‘mum’ completely and is easy to train.”
Tao’s story received media coverage earlier this year, but recently there’s been another exciting development:
He got his own guide dog!
The family got an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy named Oko to act as Tao’s eyes, helping him get around and live his best life.
The two dogs have quickly bonded and now Tao trusts his new companion.
His owners say that despite his adjustments to blindness, Tao hasn’t had the confidence to do things like running around the yard, but that’s all changed thanks to Oko leading the way:
While Tao has a guide dog of his own, his owner says he’s been known to fool people into thinking he is the guide dog.
“He has given me a new appreciation of blindness issues and when people meet him they don’t always realise he’s blind,” Melanie told Somerset Live.
“In fact, when we are out walking some people think he’s my guide dog because he has a sleeve on his lead saying ‘Blind K9.’”
But when he needs help, he’ll always have his little helper to guide the way.
Tao has worked so hard to adjust to blindness, it’s nice that he now has a new friend to make things a little easier! Share this adorable story!