“Lancaster Country in Pennsylvania is considered by many people to be the puppy mill capital of the east,” says Russ Stewart, the Development Coordinator at Main Line Animal Rescue. When a breeder approached one of the organization’s volunteer partners about three blind Corgi pups, they quickly wound up being taken into the care of Main Line.
As Stewart explains, “We of course said yes because the alternative for a puppy that can’t be sold for full value is euthanasia.”
The Corgi puppies in question are named Helen, Ray and Stevie. Along with being blind, they’ve also been diagnosed with a degree of hearing impairment. The trio of pups have had to learn to rely on their senses of smell, taste and touch to navigate around, but Stewart says, “To see them playing out in our fields you really wouldn’t know that they were different from any other dog — well, aside from the occasional bump into a fence.”
Under close supervision at Main Line, the Corgi pups have also developed the tactic of “putting lots of objects in their mouth” in a bid to discover the world around them through taste and touch.
Stewart adds that on a day to day basis, Helen, Ray and Stevie are all about being “playful and friendly” while exploring their safe environment. He adds that they’re fond of giving puppy breath kisses to people. “They are really sweet pups and they put a smile on everyone’s face who meets them.”
Going forward, Helen, Ray and Stevie are on the lookout for forever homes. Stewarts says, “Ideally we would love to find adopters who have previous experience with specially-abled animals, but of course there aren’t a ton of folks who have that.”
Stewart adds that Main Line has sourced homes for several other blind and deaf dogs in the past, and that the most important factor is showing “a commitment to the animal and lots of love.” So while Helen, Ray and Stevie will need to undergo a customized training regime to accommodate their special needs status, fundamentally “they are able to do everything that any other dog can do.”