A dog may be man’s best friend, but sometimes dogs need a best friend of their own. And if you’re one of those people who thinks pets can’t experience true love, wait until you hear this story.
It starts with a Golden Retriever named Tanner who has been blind since birth. Tanner was adopted and things were going pretty well for his first year -- until his owner died.
Tanner started having seizures every day and his anxiety levels went through the roof. A foster home was out of the question and a veterinarian says he even had trouble controlling Tanner in a hospital setting.
“There were multiple times we recommended euthanasia,” Dr. Mike Jones of Woodland West Animal Hospital tells HLN. “He’s a young dog, he’s not going to adjust to any kind of new environment -- it’s just not fair for this dog to live an anxiety-ridden life.”
But then Tanner met Blair. And Blair hasn’t had the easiest time, either. The black Labrador had been shot before finding her way to the animal hospital, so she had her own set of behavioral and trust issues.
Tanner and Blair bonded instantly in the play yard and the two are virtually inseparable: Blair actually leads Tanner around –- by his leash!
“It is incredible. Some of it’s a little bit of play… but in the end, you can see that Blair gets the leash and if Blair leads Tanner around, Tanner follows perfectly,” says Dr. Jones, who insists this is the real deal.
“One thing a lot of people ask me, ‘Did you stage this?’ And I’m like, ‘If you think you can go out in the yard and get two dogs to do that, go right ahead!’” says Jones.
Within a couple of weeks, Tanner’s seizures had stopped and Blair even came out of her shell a little bit, too.
“Tanner wants to be close to you. He will walk up to people and actually barge into people because he just wants to be close,” Pam Denny with Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue tells HLN. “I just feel that Blair has a calming effect.”
Now Denny and Dr. Jones are trying to find a home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the pair, who must be adopted together. Dr. Jones says there will be a long-term financial commitment because of Tanner’s medications, special food and regular visits to the vet for blood work. He also says Blair and Tanner’s new home needs to have easy access to an outside yard that has few obstacles for Tanner.
“We know that person’s out there,” says Dr. Jones. “Most dogs can adjust to ‘just good.’ This has to be perfect… There’s going to be a lot of good people that would want the two of them. But in the grand scheme of life, only one can do it.”