Special-Needs Pet of the Week: Maggie

It's been a while since we've featured Barbara Techel's wonderful posts on special-needs dogs here, but going forward we'll do our best to feature these...


It’s been a while since we’ve featured Barbara Techel’s wonderful posts on special-needs dogs here, but going forward we’ll do our best to feature these sweeties on the blog most Tuesdays. — Janine K.

What is your pet’s name?


How old is your pet?

She is two years old as of September 21st.

What is your pet’s physical challenge?

Maggie is blind. I think some days (though rarely), she can see shapes. It scares her terribly on days like that and she doesn’t leave my side. But most days she sees nothing.

What is your pet’s favorite thing to do?

Maggie’s favorite thing to do is play in the water sprinkler when it’s hot. She also loves to cuddle and oh, there’s the belly rubs — can’t forget those.

What do you love most about your pet?

What I love about Maggie is how she is so sweet and ready to go and do anything with me despite her blindness. She’s incredibly smart. She also gives the best kisses!

What has your pet most taught you?

I don’t know if she has really taught me this, but special-needs dogs are just that, special. Everyone should open their home to a special dog. Her blindness has taught me to see things differently and how she adapts to things is amazing. She’s always happy.

Anything else you’d like to share?

It took a while for us to figure out that Maggie couldn’t see. She was in a swarm of little black puppies. All rolling around and falling over etc. But it started to show when she would bump into the walls or fall into the food dishes as she got a little older.I took her to the vet and they did a quick look and said “Yup, she’s blind. Will you be putting her down?” Um. NO! I WILL NOT! My now EX-vet didn’t even want to discuss what was wrong. They just dismissed her. (I still do not know why she’s blind; it really doesn’t matter.)Maggie does perfectly well here with me and her parents and brother. She knows this house and yard, every inch of it. I keep the chairs pushed in and things out of the middle of the floor. She has no problems. Her food and water are in the same place all the time, she goes right to it.

When we go outside, she runs like the rest of the pack. Most people don’t believe she is blind, and they wouldn’t have known if I didn’t tell them. If I think shes going to run into something I yell “CAREFUL” and she stops. “EASY” means slow down. I can direct her through the woods (we walk on the hill every day) by telling her easy, over, wait for me, etc.

If we are on a strange trail she stays next to me, Mica, Timber, or One Ton. They all look out for her and will get between her and a bank or tree. Its truly amazing to watch those dogs watch out for her.

We do have a few issues we had to work around — it’s not all easy. I have to watch out in the yard when the dogs are running. The others will swerve around me, but Maggie has ran me over a couple times (clipped my legs as she goes by) and down I go. Then she comes back and kisses me ’cause she’s sorry.

I’ve wrapped my clothesline posts in snow fencing in case she hits them. Its not pretty, but it keeps her from getting hurt too much. We still get bumps and bruises some days but as she ages it doesn’t happen so much anymore.

She is slow to warm up to strangers. She does best if they don’t try to touch her right away. But if given time to listen to them and be around them, soon she’s laying on the ground, belly up, going “Rub my belly!”

Pictured Above: Maggie with mommy, Mica, daddy, One Ton, and brother, Timber

P.S. If you care for a special-needs pet and would like your pet featured, e-mail Barbara through her website. Send a photo and she will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.

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