The Daily Pip

Promoting rescue, adoption and second chances for dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Specials: Adopting Blind Dogs

The Specials is a blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pit Bulls and black cats. If not, for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets.  Please check out past special needs adoption posts here.

Muffin, the inspiration behind Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs
Muffin and Silvie. Photo used with permission of Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs
Sometimes things happen in unexpected ways. Beauty follows pain, clarity follows confusion. We discover the path we are meant to find, the work we are meant to pursue, and the people and animals we are meant to love. This is the story of two extraordinary dogs, one who helped ignite a passion and mission of good will and another who helped heal a broken heart. 

When Silvie's beloved toy poodle, Muffin, was 13 he lost his sight to cataracts. She watched helplessly as he struggled to adjust while growing more depressed and anxious by the day. Desperate to help him, she searched for solutions to make his life easier. And when she couldn't find a solution, she invented her own - Muffin's Halo, a device that allows blind dogs to navigate their surroundings while also staying safe. Muffin regained his freedom and Silvie found her mission in life. 

Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs 

While launching Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs, Silvie discovered a mass in Muffin's stomach. She consulted multiple vets and specialists, changed his diet, introduced natural supplements, and the mass reduced in size. Tragically, during a routine procedure the mass was lacerated and left him fighting for life. He lost massive amounts of blood, endured transfusions and emergency surgery. Silvie prayed and promised that if he survived she would devote her life to helping other blind dogs. Muffin survived and Silvie kept her promise. Not only does she run a successful company, featured on ABC News, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and The Huffington Post, she also started Second Chances for Blind Dogs, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping thousands of blind dogs in shelters and rescues. Sadly, Silvie lost her beautiful Muffin on December 5th, 2015, but his heart and spirit live on through her important work. 

Prince and Silvie, founder of Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, at BlogPaws 2016
Prince and Silvie at BlogPaws
But Muffin wasn't finished just yet ...

In mid June, Silvie was having dinner with a dear friend who told her that when she was ready, the right dog would appear. The following morning on the way to a business meeting Silvie received a notification on Facebook about a blind dog in need of a new home. His owner was suffering from lung cancer and her final wish was to find a loving home for her rescued blind poodle. Upon seeing this message, Silvie immediately canceled her meeting and drove several hours (with Chloe her other dog who is deaf) to meet him. 

Amazingly, she discovered that the woman's name was Sylvia and her friends sometimes called her Silvie. She had rescued Prince from the streets a few years before; she posted signs, but no one claimed him. Listening to this beautiful story, Silvie knew in her heart without a doubt that Prince was meant to join her family.

Blind dogs benefit from Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs
Sweet Prince 
Silvie brought Prince home and two days later the newly formed family headed to Phoenix for BlogPaws where I had the privilege of meeting them. A month later, she reports that Prince is the sweetest boy in the world, follows her everywhere, and cuddles and sleeps happily with Chloe every night. What's meant to be will always be. 

Thanks to Muffin, Prince, Chloe and Silvie for sharing their story and creating a ripple of kindness that will surely help change the world for blind dogs. Through Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs, Angel Muffin's spirit will live on, protecting Prince and thousands of other dogs.

Saving one animal won't change the world, but for that one animal the world will change forever.

Prince and Silvie, founder of Muffin's Halo enjoying lunch and life
Photo used with permission of Silvie and Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs
Please consider adopting or fostering a special needs dog or cat because second chances are amazing whether you are on the giving or receiving side. If you enjoyed this post, please check out my posts on adopting a blind therapy dog and adopting a deaf dog.

For more information on Muffin's Halo For Blind Dogs, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook. If you want to learn more about Silvie's efforts to help blind dogs in shelters and rescues,  please visit Second Chances for Blind Dogs.

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44 comments

  1. What a wonderful, wonderful story! We are so happy for this little family♥

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  2. Such a beautiful story! I understand that people might be scared to adopt special need dogs, but there is just so much more than meets the eye! Special needs dogs and senior dogs can be just as lovely and fun as a puppy!!

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  3. Oh my goodness what an absolutely beautiful love story.......
    and Kristin...Angel Pip got you into Blogging...his loss was huge; however, his huge heart helped you open yours to Ruby in turn you found your voice in The Daily Pip and writing the most beautiful stories. My Mom always told me not to question stumbling blocks that I 'thought' were in my way. She said often they are there for a reason. She was right often what I think I wanted/needed was not to be because there was something even better around the corner.
    Hugs Cecilia

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  4. Great post! We have seen lots of information that blind dogs do very well!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  5. I absolutely love the way you told their beautiful story!! It was so great meeting them at BlogPaws!

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  6. Hari OM
    Another winner!!! Kristen - you have definitely found your path with this series!!! YAM xx

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  7. Such a beautiful story! It's so wonderful when someone can take a hardship and use it to help others and change lives.

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  8. I think that halo is a really good idea. At the end of her life, Dip had very little sight and although she basically knew where everything was, she still bumped into things sometimes. This would have been very useful.
    Lynne x

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  9. I've seen those halos on facebook! We had a poodle who lost her eyesight when I was a kid. We didn't even realize it until we moved and she kept running into everything. She could have used one of these halos.

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  10. As you may know, Sam went blind the last 2.5 years of his life due to diabetes. He was anxious and depressed for the first two weeks and then was back to his old larger than life self! Most people were surprised that he was blind because he'd still run and wrestle. He knew were steps were and how many he needed to go up or down. He was an inspiration to me every day because he never let any obstacle stop him. I'm sure his motto was, "just keep going!" When I told someone that he was blind, they replied that it was so sad to see a disabled dog. Without thinking, I said to them, Sam isn't disabled, he just can't see. And I'm sure that's exactly what Sam thought too! Thanks to him, I'd be happy to open my home to another blind dog... they make life interesting!

    Kathleen (Sam and Pippen's mom)

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  11. That is such a great story and so heart warming that there are such good people out there like Silvie who really came up with such a good idea in the halo.

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  12. Thank you for sharing such a great story - love this post! We've run into various health issues along the way, but never actually adopted out a special needs dog. I would certainly consider one.

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  13. I absolutely love this story and especially this woman. Her dedication is amazing. She must experience so much blood, sweat and tears, but in the end her heart must really sing out loud. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to share this story too.

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  14. A wonderful story beautifully told. It never ceases to amaze me how things happen that are just meant to be.

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  15. That really does seem like a preordained match. I remember seeing these two at BlogPaws. I didn't get a chance to stop and chat, and now I wish I had. What a wonderful and caring spirit these two share!

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

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  16. What a wonderful story and family, this was truly meant to be! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. We met at BlogPaws briefly! She was telling me how she had just adopted Prince. I love the story about how she started her work.

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  18. What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing with us

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  19. How pawesome that Silvie was able to find a way to help Muffin and Prince and other blind dogs. The mom remembers seeing them at BlogPaws.

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  20. This is a beautiful story. I love how you wrote "Beauty follows pain, clarity follows confusion." I love reading these great stories about wonderful dogs and the humans who they help save.

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  21. Thank you so much for bringing us this beautiful story! And we agree with Foley Monster above: We love that line too! Gorgeous!

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  22. Truly an amazing article that I am so grateful for. Thank you so much♡♡♡

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  23. Truly an amazing article that I am so grateful for. Thank you so much♡♡♡

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  24. This is such a beautiful story and what a wonderful family they now have! Thank you for sharing!!

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  25. It takes a very special person to adopt a senior dog, let alone one with a big disability. Our lives are so short as it is, and knowing time will be so very short is hard. Those halos are a wonderful idea! Being blind would be such a challenge. Loss of hearing with our Katie wasn't so hard to deal with and we were always thankful her eyes remained good.

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  26. I spoke to Silvie about Muffin and the Halo at BlogPaws the other year - such a beautiful story and a great product idea.

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  27. You have such a big heart! Its such a beautiful story thank you for sharing!

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  28. I enjoyed talking with her at Blog Paws. I learned so much from her and again from your post. Very well written.

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  29. I remember training a blind Boxer a few years ago, and what a sweet dog she was!! I wish I could have had a tool like this to help her owner! Love this mission!!

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  30. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I am mom to special needs companions and I feel my life has been blessed because of them.

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  31. Such a beautiful story. I loved meeting them at BlogPaws too. You really captured the inspiration and love behind Muffin's Halo. #rescuesrock

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  32. I love this product. I interviewed her at BlogPaws and what a dynamo. Thanks for spreading the word! I will also tweet this.

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  33. I saw Muffin and her Mum at BlogPaws. The whole concept of the halo is totaly amazing and visionary.

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  34. Such a beautiful story. Sylvie sounds amazing, as does the halo. As you know, I've been the mom to a couple special needs Huskies, my (now angel) Epi-dog (canine epileptic) Gibson, and one who is partially deaf, Bandit, I know first-hand how amazing and wonderful these dogs are. Post like this just warms my heart. Thank you for sharing!

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  35. I got to meet Silvie and Prince at BlogPaws too. She seems like an amazing woman. This is such a creative solution! I'm glad that Muffin's Halo has been able to help so many blind dogs.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  36. I love stories like this. That a wonderful creation to help blind dogs.

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  37. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it!

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  38. This is such a great story. Thank you to Silvie for opening her home to Prince!

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  39. I had the pleasure of meeting Sylvie at BlogPaws as well and was so inspired by her story. I didn't know all of this backstory though, so thanks for sharing! Wonderful lady & a wonderful product for special needs dogs.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  40. We love this story! It's even more special because Silvie isn't just helping the blind dogs who have lived under her roof, but also other blind dogs everywhere. Paws way, way up!

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  41. I saw that she won an award at SuperZoo this week! She supports an amazing cause as blind dogs should be given a chance at a happy life with their human families. These halos are so practical and make navigating so much easier.

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  42. Such a beautiful story! I understand that people might be scared to adopt special need dogs, but there is just so much more than meets the eye! Special needs dogs and senior dogs can be just as lovely and fun as a puppy!!

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