Four-Month-Old Puppy Becomes ‘Seeing-Eye’ Companion for Blind Golden Retriever

March 22, 2019 Updated: March 27, 2019

You couldn’t make them up. Eleven-year-old golden retriever Charlie and his 4-month-old puppy sidekick, Maverick, are a canine dream team. Maverick is Charlie’s pint-sized “seeing-eye” dog, since Charlie lost his sight to glaucoma.

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Bài viết do Charlie And Maverick (@charlieandmav) chia sẻ vào

Chelsea and Adam Stipe, the dogs’ owners, live in Mooresville, North Carolina. Speaking to NBC Philadelphia, Chelsea explained that the human-dog bond runs deep: Adam has had Charlie since he was a puppy. Charlie’s loss of eyesight was upsetting and somewhat gradual, but the dog adapted well, never losing his lust for life. Charlie still enjoys walking and playing, Chelsea added.

The 11-year-old dog contracted glaucoma, and when he began to experience discomfort back in 2016, he had his left eye removed. Fast-forward 12 months and the problem sadly returned. Charlie’s residual eyesight was failing, and he was experiencing pain in his right eye to the extent that his owners made the tough decision to take him in for a second operation. “For us it was a no-brainer,” Chelsea shared. Motivated by love and care, the couple emptied their retirement fund to pay for Charlie’s medical expenses.

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With spirits high but senses compromised, Charlie embarked on life as a dog without sight, learning to navigate his world from a whole new perspective.

Chelsea in particular had always wanted another puppy. She rationalized that adding a new puppy to the family during her pregnancy would mean that the puppy could acclimatize happily, and then become the perfect companion for the new baby as they grew.

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The decision was made. On New Year’s Day of 2019, Chelsea and Adam brought Maverick home for the very first time.

“They’re both pretty crazy and special,” Chelsea joked about her two canine companions. Evidently, Charlie took a little while to warm to his new, tiny friend, the puppy’s insatiable energy perhaps proving too much for the sight-compromised older dog. However, he came around. “They’re definitely our entertainment,” Chelsea added.

Chelsea and Adam had never anticipated that Maverick would bring more to the table than rampant energy and a lust for life, but he turned out to be a marvelously perceptive puppy. Maverick soon noticed that Charlie’s responses were not like those of other dogs. Charlie was slower at play, and often appeared confused. “Maverick would realize that Charlie would lose the toy sometimes,” Chelsea explained, “so [Maverick] would pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime.”

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Bài viết do Charlie And Maverick (@charlieandmav) chia sẻ vào

The pair became something of a double act, with Maverick preempting his older friend’s needs and even walking in sync with the bigger dog, looking uncannily like “sled dogs,” according to Chelsea.

The odd couple’s antics became so entertaining that Chelsea submitted an anecdote and some irresistible pictures to WeRateDogs, a thriving social media account with millions of followers. The post went viral on March 18, 2019. “It was crazy,” Chelsea admitted. “It was not what I was expecting.”

WeRateDogs was also inundated with responses to Charlie and Maverick’s story, and the account owners contacted Chelsea directly, within only a few hours, to make a suggestion: Chelsea should start her own Instagram page for the two dogs and their heartwarmingly unique friendship.

Chelsea didn’t hesitate. The Instagram account for “Charlie And Maverick: Two best buds living life to the fullest,” gained more than 20,000 followers in its first 24 hours.

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Bài viết do Charlie And Maverick (@charlieandmav) chia sẻ vào

Chelsea posted an email address on the page and was delighted by the responses that followed. It turns out that Charlie and Maverick are much more than just a cute pair: they’re inspiring. “I’ve even had people reaching out about their dogs who had glaucoma,” Chelsea revealed.

“Everything has just been so positive and loving.”

 

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