April 19, 2021

Tao The Blind Dog Has A Golden Retriever Puppy As A Guide After Losing Both Eyes Due To Glaucoma

Usually, dogs are the ones leading blind people around. But what happens when you’re a blind dog? Why, you get a guide puppy pal, of course! Tao and Oko have gone viral because they’re extremely adorable and they prove that guide dogs aren’t just helpful for humans.

Tao had both eyes removed due to glaucoma over two operations – the second happening at the beginning of this year.

But the 10-year-old has already made remarkable progress, adapting to his surroundings and using commands to navigate – even off the lead.

Busy places don’t bother him and owner Melanie Jackson can take him out and about without fear.

More info: Instagram

Tao was diagnosed with glaucoma and misplaced each of his eyes. Regardless of his blindness, he recovered shortly and was glad once more

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

When Tao, an 11-year-old Golden Retriever, went blind following a battle with glaucoma, some thought it was time to euthanize the senior dog. But owner Melanie Jackson refused to give up on her beloved family member. “Euthanasia was never an option,” Jackson told SomersetLive. “He’s part of our family and we have done the best we can for him.”

Instead, Jackson decided to get her senior pet his own guide dog puppy to help him safely navigate his new world. But shortly after welcoming that puppy, Oko, into their family, Jackson discovered this unique arrangement also offered some unexpected benefits. Because while Oko helps the blind dog get around, the puppy’s also brought youthful energy and joy that’s helped the older dog fully enjoy his golden years.

But something was missing…

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Oko has only been part of Jackson’s family for a couple of months, but in that short time the golden retrievers have developed a close bond. “Tao follows him around the fields and they sleep with each other,” Jackson told the Daily Mail. “We are in the process of training Tao to follow Oko so he doesn’t get in the way of any danger.”

The owner decided to look for a dog that could be a play pal for him

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Tao was already an Instagram star, with over 14,000 followers. So once Oko came along, fans suddenly got twice the cuteness in the same account!

“Tao’s well being is actually good now. He’s in no ache, and to say he’s almost 12, he acts like a lot youthful canine! He does all the things he used to do other than leaping up hay bales and leaping over hedges—we stroll round eight miles a day and he nonetheless trains most days,” Melanie said.

Oko, being only 8 weeks old, clicked with Tao and became his guide

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Enter Oko, another golden retriever. He was just about 8 weeks old when Melanie got him, but the dog duo clicked immediately and have become inseparable ever since. Oko inadvertently has become a guide dog to another dog. Tao follows Oko around when they’re walking, and they also sleep together. The owner is also simultaneously training Tao to follow Oko so he won’t get into trouble. “Oko is being trained by me—if not, he would lead Tao into mischief as he is a typical inquisitive puppy. Tao is being trained to follow Oko’s scent and Oko to listen and respond to my commands to ‘stop, wait, go right, go left.’”

They’re around each other all the time. They walk and sleep together

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

The owner is also training Tao to follow Oko’s lead

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Oko is now about 17 weeks old, and seemingly, he has gotten used to his new role. Mel, the owner, has also raised a cause for glaucoma awareness in dogs. She has worked with The Kennel Club, who have used Tao’s DNA to help identify other dogs’ proneness to glaucoma. It can be prevented if diagnosed early enough. Ever since the news, the internet just fell in love with this newly-formed pair, and they have a solid 30k followers to show for it. If you support this wholesome duo, make sure you follow them on their social media linked above.

She is also raising awareness for glaucoma in dogs

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Both of the dogs have amazing personalities to match: “Tao is a 100% mommy’s boy—he is always close by and he is like my little shadow. He loves to please and his favorite thing is scent work—he still scents out balls in the hedges and fields and loves finding his toys when l hide them either in the garden or in the house.

Oko was bred by a fantastic breeder from Cornwall—we had always planned to have another pup after Tao lost his brother Otis to cancer 3 years ago, but due to his sight loss and the training l needed to do with Tao, we had to focus on him until the time was right.

Tao is an amazing dog and is loved by everyone we meet—he is known locally and people often ask if they can have a selfie with him.”

Image credits: tao_mr_winky

Before and after

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You don’t need to see to take in the sun

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ROFLing at each other’s jokes

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“You crack me up, pal”

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Friendship at play

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