At A Glance

  • Age: 18 years, 7 months
  • Breed: Golden Retriever
  • Gender: Male
  • Weight: 70.00 lbs
  • Location: N/A
  • Status: Deceased


Sponsored by:

Judith C.
Susannah Charleson


I picked up Ray yesterday from a local animal control (perhaps he was named by them after Ray Charles?). We are guessing his age at around 5 years old. Will see what the vet thinks when he goes for his wellness visit.

I've been fostering now for 8 years and have seen dogs come from all sorts of places, some loving homes, some awful homes, some strays, some puppy mills. But this time, I'm at a loss for words. Somewhere in this world is a person that would take a family pet who becomes blind and dump him on the side of the road. I know it's just one bad apple in an orchard of beautiful apples (as we learned with Orphan Annie, there are many, many caring people in this world), but how anyone could do this is beyond my capability to understand. Animal control and I both agree that there is no way this dog just wandered away from home and became a stray. He was someone's pet. He is neutered, he is moderately overweight (hasn't been wandering and going hungry), so far has done his bathroom duties outside and is likely housetrained and is scared to death to move because he can't see. I've had foster dogs before that were blind from birth and they maneuver around beautifully because that is the only life they know. That's not Ray. This blind world seems new to him and scary. Please tell anyone you know that if they don't want their dog, to surrender the dog to rescue or a shelter. There is no reason to dump a dog on the side of the road. Ray could easily have walked in front of a car, or any number of bad things could have happened to him. I would like to thank animal control for contacting RAGOM so this boy could have a second chance.

When I arrived at animal control, they were trying to take Ray for a walk outside for his bathroom duties before putting him in my car. Problem is that he is scared to go through doorways not knowing what's on the other side. He drops to the ground and at his size (he's a tall boy), once he drops to the ground it's almost impossible to move him. They pulled and I pushed and we got him through the doorway and once his feet hit the snow, he stood up and walked just fine on leash next to you. So the challenge came once again when we got home. Thankfully, he did slowly feel his way down out of my SUV with me supporting him for the final jump to the ground. My initial plan had been to walk him around into the fenced in backyard and into the lower level so he would have access to the outside without steps, but the best laid plans always have a hitch. The gates are shut and frozen into the ground. So, into the main level we had to go. We have one step from our garage into our house and he came up that step, but the final step into the house, that crossing the doorway thing, had him back flat on the ground and unable to move. This time with no one to push from behind, I could only pull which seemed mean, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Finally, he was in and lying flat on the floor, but at least he was in. My five dogs all came up for sniffs which he didn't mind at all. And back outside I went with an ice pick and shovel to release the gate. Once that was done, Ray and I had to once again cross the door threshhold to go back out into the garage. We walked around to the backyard, he did his business ("good boy") and now we have to cross the door threshhold to get into the lower level. He flattens to the ground once again and once again I pull. During the evening we take two more trips outside and by the second trip, he's starting to learn that there is a flat surface on the other side of the door threshhold and he's not going to just fall into an abyss. Coming in last night, he actually stepped tentatively across the threshhold and in, and I was elated. Boy just needs to learn he's safe. This morning I got all bundled up to go out and took his leash and he walked out the backdoor no pulling, no flattening to the ground. YAY, major milestone in less than 24 hours.

Sometimes he walks slowly around the lower level, occasionally bumping into things. Sometimes he belly crawls as it's safer. Usually, he just lies quietly. Once he gets the lay of the land and knows where things are over the next few days, I think he'll be more confident. Outside, he's a riot. He wants to be right next to you but also acts like he wants to play, he jumps up and gets all excited and is so funny to watch. He takes treats very, very gently and so far has been nothing but gentle and loving. He enjoys being petted and having his ears scratched. I'm going to be spending lots of time on the internet trying to learn the best way to help blind dogs feel comfortable. I assume that will mean having things that make noise so he can hear their location. I'm open to whatever ideas are out there. If any of you that are reading this have knowledge of helping blind dogs learn their surroundings and learning to cope in their sightless world, I'd love to hear from you. Dog's hearing and smelling senses are so much more developed than their sight, and we just need to find the best way to train him to use his other senses so he can have a happy, comfortable rest of his life. I have an appointment with an eye specialist to find out if there is anything that can be done to help his eyesight.

I haven't decided yet whether we will attempt to come to the RAGOM event on Saturday. Will see how he does over the next few days as he gets to know us better.

Sponsor Ray

Dog Updates

You Recently Viewed