Being a guide dog handler often means added responsibilities and animal husbandry when it comes to our canine partners. We not only practice daily obedience, but also brush their teeth, clean ears, and inspect nails for trimming. We check for changes in their relieving routines and the hands-on attention lets us know when to ask for assistance with identifying a bump or injury.
On the top of the list is eye health. Canine eye health is a primary concern for our dogs. I know, it seems almost trite to say it, but one cannot work a guide dog that has trouble seeing. Dogs are susceptible to eye diseases just like people. This is why the month of April and May has been reserved for free eye exams in a Nationally-recognized program instituted by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, or ACVO.
The ACVO/Epicur National Service Animal Eye Exam event will provide a free screening-wellness eye exam to qualified Service and Working Animals including those providing the following services: guide, hearing assistance, drug detection, police/military, search and rescue, therapy, and those assisting people with disabilities other than blindness. Registration is open annually April 1st – 30th.
Bailey passed his exam with great tolerance and a huge sneeze, which isn’t an uncommon reaction when getting one’s big Labrador eyes inspected with one of those newfangled blue light thingies. 😊
Below is Bailey sitting and looking at the camera wearing his new black ACVO bandana. What a good boy! 🦮
This is about inter-species communication. No it’s not about extra-terrestrials, it’s about cats and dogs.
Jerry and I were in bed listening to an audio book, Bailey was on the dog bed and May was laying between us on our bed. In saunters Papa, our tuxedo cat. He and I have this routine of him coming onto my side of the bed and onto my lap, then we proceed with the human-feline interactions, the feline sucklying and kneading the blanket and me petting him until he relaxes and rests. But this night May and Pappa are competing for the blanket space and my lap. So Pappa, not happy with May being so close to “his” place, begins to rub on her; he dives in, his face and upper body rubbing her face and shoulders. He continues until she is twitching in annoyance and begins to scratch her face and neck. By this time Jerry and I are trying not to laugh . The cat is giving May the feline version of the canine nose boop. We want to cheer Pappa on, knowing he is doing his best to conquer the space on the human bed and in five minutes, May gets off the bed and Pappa has what he wants. Smart kitty cat. It makes up for all the times when May annoys him while he’s cat-loafing on the coffee table trying to catnap. 🐱🐱