Fate brought a blind dog and visually-impaired veteran together.
Louis, a 3-year-old Lab/shepherd mix, was neglected by his previous owners who decided to have both of his eyes removed instead of treating a serious eye infection. The blind dog was struck by a car shortly after the surgery, which fractured his leg. His owners found it too difficult to care for a blind dog and surrendered him to the shelter.
Helen Woodward Animal Center rescued him in late December and immediately put him in a loving foster home to recover and learn how to live without his sight. His heartbreaking story went viral and the shelter received an outpouring of support, donations, and tons of applications for the sweet pup.
Louis’ foster family said his perfect home would be, “a mellow home, one story, someone who is home all the time with another sweet dog. He told me to let you know!”
The staff carefully examined each application looking for the perfect match for Louis, and they found it.
Marine veteran Steve Walker and his family applied to adopt Louis after hearing his sad story. They were not looking to adopt another dog but felt moved to apply since they can relate to his loss of vision.
Steve “began to lose his sight at the age of 18 due to a rare eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Despite losing his eyesight, Steve has never lost his love of life, competing in marathons, triathlons, and even the World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii,” posted the animal center.
Jordan Walker, daughter of Steve and Kacey Walker, submitted an essay to the rescue detailing why their family would be the best match for Louis. One of the reasons was that their one-story home is already adjusted to accommodate Steve’s blindness with things like pocket doors instead of swinging doors and minimal furniture. They said they would love to add Louis to their pack of rescue animals and the rescue was sold.
Louis will join the family’s rescue bulldog named Dragon and bunny named Honey.
His adoption fee was covered by a Good Samaritan and he received one of the largest adoption care packages ever, which included: “one year of veterinary services and 10 sessions of training services from San Diego Pet Training; a $500 Petco Gift Card and a Subaru Loves Pets Adoption Kit from Frank Subaru: an original artwork print of Louis created by an Instagram Louis-fan named Erika Ho; two bags of Blue Buffalo Pet Food; and a card signed by the entire staff who worked with the sweet pup at Helen Woodward Animal Center,” said the rescue in a video announcing Louis’ adoption.
Steve spoke at the adoption event and thanked everyone who helped Louis and said they will give him a “happy and active life.” Their first experience as a family was a car ride and trip to Starbucks for a well-deserved Puppuccino.
The staff was determined to find a loving forever home for Louis and they wrote, “We believe the Walkers represent that and even more.”
Louis’ challenging journey has led to the best reward – a loving family.
Follow Helen Woodward Animal Center on Instagram for more rescue stories and updates on Louis.