Guide dogs don’t just help blind people get around, occasionally they’ll also help their fellow canines with visual impairment better navigate the darkness. Not only do they make for great companions, but they also make daily tasks so much easier for those of us who don’t have the ability to live a normal life.
One of those people, (or should we say dogs) is 10-year-old Golden Retriever Tao. Tao hasn’t had the easiest life. The sweet Golden suddenly went blind after being diagnosed with glaucoma, a medical term for damage to the nerve that connects the eye to the brain as a result of poor eye fluid drainage.
Meet Tao — the Golden Retriever who was given a seeing-eye puppy to help him navigate the world
The issue was first discovered when Tao’s owner Melanie noticed that he was acting strange one day, scratching his eye and whining.
Concerned, she took him to the vet that evening, where he was quickly given a diagnosis. They had no choice but to remove Tao’s eye to stop the pain.
Unfortunately, the vet informed Melanie that it was only a matter of time until Tao’s second eye would have to be removed.
So, in preparation for the inevitable, Melanie taught Tao all that she could to prepare him for complete blindness, and 11 months later Tao’s second eye was removed.
Although Melanie credits Tao for his amazing strengthen and adaptability post-surgery, life naturally became harder for the pooch.
However, everything changed when Oko came into his life.
Oko is Tao’s very own guide dog, helping him get around, making day-to-day life so much easier for elderly Tao.
The two meet when Oko was just 11 -weeks old and even though it’s just been a few months the two have developed the ’sweetest bond’.
The two’s amazing relationship has warmed hearts all over the internet and they even now have their own little following over on Instagram.
The cuteness levels are off the scales over there! With photos and videos of Oko taking Tao for walks, all by himself, holding his lead.
Although Oko is still very much in training, he has made the world of difference to Tao life by making things easier and safer. We wish the two a life-long friendship and all the best in the future.
While the two adorable Goldens don’t know it, they have a fast-growing Instagram fan base of more than 18.5K people, who follow their adventures closely.
Melanie hopes to use the platform to raise awareness for canine glaucoma. In fact, she has closely worked with The Kennel Club to use Tao’s DNA as a “marker” that could help to identify other dogs who could potentially be prone to the disease.
Glaucoma doesn’t have to be a definite loss of vision outcome – it can be an entirely preventable condition if it is caught and diagnosed early enough. In fact, it can be easily preventable if diagnosed in an early enough stage.
And of course, if you’re interested in following their amazing journey head over to their Instagram @tao_mr_winky!
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