Ben – living with a blind dog

Today, one of my other Spaniels, had a go at my blind Ben for the first time since the onset of his blindness.

Each of my 3 Cocker Spaniels have their places in two corners of my kitchen. In the sitting room at night, they sometimes jump up on a free chair and cuddle up next to one of us while watching tv. None of them has ever been possessive of a place, a blanket or a chair; they never even have been possessive about their food as each one knows which bowl is theirs.

Today, our Molly watched Ben slowly moving along the kitchen cabinets towards his bed. I was washing dishes but had the feeling something was going to happen. As I said, my dogs never showed any sign of any kind of ggression, not to each other or other dogs or humans. But at this moment, there was something tense in the air; so, while Ben slowly was approaching his bed, Molly suddenly ran past him, growling, claiming the place for herself by sitting on his pillow, curling her lip. Poor Ben could not see her facial expression but he certainly heard her growling. His reaction was standing still, moving his head slightly away from Molly, just like a seeing dog would have done, to show submission.

In one of my earlier blog posts I have already mentioned that the greatest fear is that a blind dog turns aggressive. In this case, he showed good sense and was his usual self, the aggression was coming from my other dog, 4 year old Molly, against him.

What did I do, the Mummy that I am…. I told Molly off. I reacted human.

She accepted at once, left Ben to his place, where he sat down looking into nothingness, as if nothing had ever happened. In my last post, I already mentioned that Molly snatched a treat away from him. Are these all signs that the pack order is changing or do I have to be worried? My greatest fear at the moment is that outside on our walks another dog, like a testosterone driven bull terrier or Rottweiler (don’t laugh, there are a lot around where we are walking) or any other kind of dog who has aggression problems, might turn on Ben and bite. 

These are all aspects I have to look at now that Ben is blind. He still has to come to terms with his instincts and learning how to cope. So do I.

I chose to make my experience living with a blind dog public. I know that dog owners who love and care for their dogs can understand my insecurity and fears and I appreciate comments of support or tips on how to deal with the situation. I never thought that one of my Cocker Spaniels would get blind but, that is one of life’s surprises thrown at us unexpectedly.




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