A blind golden retriever has his own seeing-eye dog to help him get around.
Charlie, the 11-year-old golden retriever, lost his vision to glaucoma. Now he has 4-month-old Maverick as his friend and guide puppy. Adam and Chelsea Stipe got him on New Year’s Day of this year, NBC CT reported.
Charlie didn’t like Maverick in the beginning, but they eventually became comfortable with each other.
In 2016, the Stipes had Charlie’s left eye removed due to glaucoma. The next year, they had the dog had to undergo the same procedure on his right eye, due to the pain the disease caused.
“For us it was a no-brainer, empty our retirement plan to care for this dog because he makes us happy,” said Chelsea Stipe, via NBC CT.
Maverick began to sense when Charlie needed help.
“When they would play, Maverick would realize that Charlie would lose the toy sometimes, so [Maverick] would pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime,” said Chelsea.
The two dogs would also team up on walks.
“They almost turn into little sled dogs where they’ll walk together,” Chelsea said.
The dogs’ story became known after Chelsea submitted it and images to WeRateDogs. WeRateDogs then posted the photos of Maverick helping Charlie, and a little introduction to their story, on its social media channels.
“This is Charlie and Maverick. Charlie had his eyes removed due to glaucoma, but then Maverick came along as his little helper. Now they’re doing amazing. Both 14/10,” WeRateDogs posted to social media.
On Twitter, the post has almost 316,000 likes, over 70,000 retweets, and around 2,600 comments.
On Instagram, it has 205,000 likes and over 5,000 comments.
Chelsea was surprised at the reaction her dogs received via social media.
“It was crazy, it was not what I was expecting,” Chelsea said.
In less than an hour after the March 18 post, WeRateDogs contacted Chelsea and suggested she create a social media account just for Charlie and Maverick.
Chelsea obliged, and the new Instagram account now has 29,600 followers despite the first post coming just two days ago. There are a total of six posts that have been made, so far. A total of nine photos and one video has been posted.
Chelsea is enjoying the popularity.
“Everything has just been so positive and loving and I’ve even had people reaching out about their dogs who had glaucoma,” Chelsea said.
People posted pictures of their own dogs with glaucoma, some with dog friends that help, just like Charlie and Maverick, in the comments to the post on Twitter.
For certain breeds of dogs, glaucoma is common because of genetic reasons. Forty percent of affected dogs become blind in the eye with glaucoma within a year after getting the disease, according to Pet MD.
Cats are much less likely to develop glaucoma than dogs, according to 1-800-PetMeds. Dog breeds that are more susceptible to glaucoma include Akita, basset hound, beagle, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Cocker spaniel, dachshund, fox terrier, Maltese, Norwegian Elkhound, poodle, Siberian husky, and Welsh springer spaniel.