Dogs are truly man's best friend. So when one fell ill, her human deemed it necessary to help her get back on her furry feet and continue living with as little obstacle as possible, most especially now that the dog has lost her sight.
This is the story of Silvie Bordeaux and her toy poodle Muffin. It is the inspiration behind Muffin's Halo Guide for Blind Dogs, a device created to prevent blind dogs from running into furniture and walls. Made from lightweight copper tubing, the halo is attached to a harness fitted around the chest and neck of the dog. The harness is topped with cloth wings to complement the halo.
"If the halo hits the wall first, it will slow them down. That will minimize trauma to the face," explained Dr. Christin Fahrer, a veterinarian from Eye Care for Animals in the suburb Culver City in Los Angeles.
Muffin's Halo is not exactly revolutionary in function but it's definitely exceptional with the way it looks, giving blind dogs a pair of wings and a halo while ensuring they don't bump into things.
Other similar products include the infamous cone, headbands, and vests, all designed to deter collisions for dogs. To aid with mobility, there are lifts and walkers and unique equipment that help older dogs or those with disabilities or injuries to move from one place to another.
However, Fahrer adds that blind dogs don't actually concern themselves too much that they can't see, simply adapting and moving on. Owners are the ones who struggle more with the idea of pets being blind.
Caring for a dog with disabilities or injuries can be tough so a lot of dogs end up in shelters when their owners don't know what to do anymore. Shelters can't take care of all the animals brought to the facility so most of the time euthanasia awaits those who aren't adopted. Bordeaux believes shelter animals have a higher chance of being adopted even if they have disabilities or injuries if they had Muffin's Halos. To this effect, she set up a non-profit to help get Muffin's Halos to blind dogs in shelters.
Muffin's Halos range in price from $69.95 to $129.95, available in various designs like football uniforms, butterflies, and angel's wings. They are also sold internationally online to provide aid to blind dogs from all over the world.