RJ amazes his family every day with his ability to navigating the world as if with radar. A young Husky who loves to wrestle and play chase as Huskies do, RJ does it all without vision. At the dog park, RJ races beside his three other canine companions. At first, his family watched with tense shoulders and clenched jaws as RJ would head directly for an obstacle such as a bench, a tree, or fence. But without fail, at the last minute he would change course as though detecting the object on his internal radar. Whether smell, hearing, texture, temperature or wind, dogs can sense their world without a need for vision.
But life wasn’t always filled with joy for RJ. The product of a puppy mill, RJ had four owners by the time he found his forever family through MaPaw Husky Rescue at 11 weeks of age. Within the first few weeks of life, RJ developed a severe form of glaucoma, and the high pressures stretched and enlargement of his eyes. Medications failed to control the pressures or the inflammation inside his eyes and within months, he had lost all vision and was uncomfortable. Deciding to remove both eyes, a procedure called an enucleation, can be a very difficult decision, and his family grappled with the choice. But within days of surgery, RJ became more playful than he had ever been, and it was clear that they had made the right decision.
Prior to the enucleation, RJ’s family would use extreme caution on walks, keeping him on a short leash to ensure that bushes and sticks did not injure his large, exposed eyes. After the enucleation surgery, his family now arrives at the dog park, opens the car door, and steps back as he leaps out to play.