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Dog Training


Be amazed at the physiology that allows animals to adapt to loss of sight and how a blind dog can inspire you to adapt to any problem.





by Roberta Lee, DD., PhD., ND. TheDogPlace Science Editor


Would you adopt a dog that was blind? Do you equate that to caring for a blind person? Well here is why a blind dog is NOT at all handicapped but can inspire you.



Anyone who grew up with dogs knows why they are “Man’s Best Friend” but what if you haven’t discovered the truth in that title? Even the worst psychopath needs to be loved, in fact many people seek professional help because they do not feel loved.


Most of us take our dogs for granted. We love that they love us. Our ego is gratified every time the dog looks up at us and makes that special eye contact.


But what if the dog is blind? He can “see” you through his superior senses and his nose is his primary sensory organ, not his eyes. You might miss your sense of smell but it wouldn’t handicap you nearly as much as losing your sight would do.



The main drawback to being blind if you are a dog is that your owner may not be able to bond with you as deeply and completely. Why is that? A little science here… in humans, it is that direct eye contact which releases oxytocin – that amazing thing we know as the “bonding/love” hormone.


If you are a dog owner, you know, you are already thinking of all the reasons we love dogs.


Well, as a psychologist, I can tell you that being adored is much easier on the psyche than adoring someone who may not care. Few humans will put up with abuse. Some of my patients are torn between love and duty to family and the most basic of all instincts, self-preservation.


While it is true that some people feed on feeling sorry for themselves, dogs never have those self-indulgent thoughts. If a dog is cold, it seeks a warm place and its body shivers to warm the blood. If we are cold, we grab a blanket and complain about it until we get warm.


Can you imagine going without food for a whole day? Domestic dogs have the same hunger pangs, the same innate desire to “hunt”, to seek out food but he won’t leave you to do that. Blind dogs don’t go on a quest for sight. They don’t need special training. A blind dog quickly learns where the “out” door is and each piece of furniture. My beloved Doberman could certainly find the kitchen even with a blindfold on!


A blind dog simply accepts life and depends more on his sense of smell to guide him. We humans can adapt in the same way and we have the advantage of speech communication. In my practice I see many people who are blind to faults but who can see a problem a mile away.


If they are kindly people who need unquestioning support I advise them to get a dog and learn how to see the world more clearly.

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