Ten-year-old Kiaya, an Akita, lost her eye sight over a period of fifteen months. Due to glaucoma, Kiaya had to have both of her eyes removed and is now blind. Her owner, Jessica VanHusen, stated that along with not being able to see, Kiaya at times has difficulty walking and even making it to her bed. The dog, who weighs 100 pounds, has come to rely on her canine brothers for support. Her companions, eight-year-old Cass and two-year-old Keller, always seem ready to lend a helping paw, according to Time.
Cass and Keller quickly adjusted to the new situation after Kiaya lost her sight, as did Kiaya. Time stated that the dogs came to the aid of their canine friend without any guidance or instruction. The two made their own decision to be Kiaya’s support system. VanHusen said in an interview with CBS that the two boy dogs greatly respect Kiaya.
She also said that the two make sure that Kiaya eats first before they eat and they use their body weight to hold her up and support her when traveling in the car. She also commented that Cass is never far from his sister, Kiaya. He is always tagging along with her. The three dogs are tight as can be and they care for one another. Kiaya had one of her eyes removed in 2013 and both dogs, especially Cass, have been lending a helping paw ever since. Kiaya lost her other eye the following year, leaving her totally blind. VanHusen said that Cass would follow Kiaya all around to make sure that she was fine.
She added that Cass is always cuddling with her, helping her to stand, and attending to her basic needs. The dog even helps Kiaya clean her face and ears when necessary. VanHusen mentioned that it took Keller a bit longer to come around and get used to the situation. Keller was just a puppy when Kiaya had her eyes removed, so he was not very attentive initially. He has since come around, and now is almost as helpful as Cass.
The employees at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, where Kiaya had her eye surgeries, mentioned how incredible it is to watch the three dogs together. Dr. Gwen Sila, who performed the surgeries, said that the two boy dogs are very protective of Kiaya and they have a true sense of loyalty to her that is amazing. VanHusen added that she has never thought of training Cass and Keller to be service dogs. She is just focused on Kiaya and wants the two to focus on her right now as well.
VanHusen stated that she hopes the story of her pets and how they help one another can be an inspiration to others. She wants the world to see that pets with special needs still deserve a chance. Taking care of a special needs pet is not easy by any means, but it is worth it. All it takes is effort and a little patience. Yahoo! Canada News said that animals with special needs require our help and we should not give up on them, just as Kiaya’s brothers did not give up on her. Their story should inspire and motivate us all, the article went on.
Yahoo! Canada News also said that it is truly amazing how these two dogs help Kiaya and genuinely seem to care for her. There is a great support system between the three of them. Cass and Keller are definitely always ready to lend a helping paw to their blind canine friend and sister, Kiaya.
By Heather Granruth
CBS: Dog without eyes gets help from “seeing-eye dogs”
Time: These 2 ‘Seeing-Eye’ Dogs Help a Blind, Old Canine Get Around
Yahoo! Canada News: Blind dog who gets around with help of ‘seeing-eye’ dogs wins hearts online
Photo Courtesy of Toshihiro Gamo’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License