Deaf, blind dog finds home

March 23, 2008 10:18:09 AM PDT
Thousands of dogs and cats need a home.This is also true for those pets with disabilities. Four months ago, a deaf and blind Australian Shepherd named Magoo got a special home.

Magoo was born in Ohio, 12 years ago. He was found by the man who raised him. Last fall, that man died unexpectedly.

Instead of being put to sleep, Magoo's life was saved by P.A.W.S. Chicago, who also found him a new home.

Dogs are supposed to protect their owners. Instead, the owners have to 'guide" Magoo.

Born deaf and blind, Magoo has managed to find his way around in his new environment.

"I keep the furniture the same way, you know, and then he starts and if he does bump too much, I go and guide him around more. But he's getting, he's very good at knowing where he wants to go and using my shadow," said Marge Alsip.

She and her husband, Russell, adopted Magoo after seeing him on ABC7 in November.

"I saw him and I fell in love with him right away," Marge Alsip said.

The Alsips have had several dogs, but none with special needs.

"You know, I thought it might be hard but it's not really, of course you know I have to go out, out with him all the time but most of the time I really enjoy it and we go for walks," Marge Alsip said. "I talk to him all the time. I honestly almost forget that he can't hear or you know, can't see until you notice he starts bumping into the wall and what not, but that's his way of you know getting around."

P.A.W.S. Chicago is a no-kill shelter. They try to save as many dogs and cats as possible.

Lisa Dawson is the director of communications and donor relations.

"You know we're willing and able and want to take in as many animals as we can. Ones that are sick, young, you know, disabled Whatever I mean, we take in healthy ones and not healthy ones, you know, we want to help them all individually," she said.

Because of Magoo's age, he is very calm.

"What he does a lot - sleep and eat and to go outside - and he loves to walk," said Marge Alsip.

When she is out walking Magoo, many people notice the dog's pupils are missing.

"And they say, 'Oh, oh poor thing,' sometimes, and others just say, 'He gets around good,'" Alsip said.

"People find out that, you know, a disability, an animal with a disability, it's a bigger deal to us, I know, as humans, than to the animals themselves, you know. Animals are incredible creatures. They adapt to all sorts of things," Dawson said.

There are plenty of dogs and cats that need loving homes. For more information visit PAWSChicago.org or call 773.935.PAWS (7297)

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