Hoop keeps blind dogs from bumping into things
One pet owner made a promise when her toy poodle fell ill and its vision started to dim. If her dog lived, she would help it overcome any disabilities.
Silvie Bordeaux of Los Angeles kept that vow. Her dog Muffin lost his sight. So she created Muffin's Halo Guide for Blind Dogs. It's a device that encircles a dog's head. It prevents blind pets from running into walls and furniture.
When a blind dog wears a halo, it holds its head higher. Its gait changes and its spirits soar. So says Los Angeles dog trainer Bronwyne Mirkovich.
When the device is put on her dog named Max, "it's like putting an action-hero suit on a little boy," Mirkovich said. "It's like he's bumping with a shield or cane. He's super confident."
Here's how it works.
"If the halo hits the wall first, it will slow them down," said Dr. Christin Fahrer from Eye Care for Animals in Culver City, California. That will minimize trauma to the face, the veterinarian said.
The halo is made of lightweight copper tubing. The tubing attaches to cloth wings and a harness fitted around the neck and chest. Other products do similar work. They include the cone. It's used after surgery to protect wounds or stitches.
Companies make walkers and lifts and other equipment for dogs with joints that ache or no longer work well. Dog stairs allow older pets to get on beds or sofas. There are ramps to help them into the car.
Bordeaux had shelter dogs in mind when launching her line of halos. She thought their chances of adoption would improve.
Bordeaux set up a nonprofit to get her halos to blind dogs in shelters and rescues. The devices range from $69.95 to $129.95. They come in different designs, such as angel's wings, butterflies and football uniforms.
"They can eat and sleep and play and run with it on," Bordeaux said. "It's like their superpower."