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Living With Blind Dogs: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low-Vision Dogs [Paperback]

Caroline D. Levin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.86 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

February 2004
"Living With Blind Dogs," now in its second edition, is the only published resource book on this topic. It embodies helpful hints from hundreds of blind-dog owners, as well as years of ophthalmic nursing, veterinary, and dog training experiences. Both the veterinary community and dog owners alike continue to praise this text, in which Levin successfully answers the common question: "What do I do now?"

This revised edition contains all the topics covered in the first edition, such as: Dealing with feelings of loss and grief, how dogs react to blindness, conditions that cause blindness and how they progress, genetics, pack issues, training concepts, new skills, helpful hints to negotiate the house, yard, and community, toys, games, and suppliers/resources.

This revised edition also includes numerous new sections and chapters: Dogs both blind and deaf, dogs blind from birth, white canes and other devices, circling behaviors, changes in barking patterns, dealing with cats, giving eye drops, traveling and camping with a blind dog, adding another dog to the pack, dry eye syndrome, VKH, and new findings on PRA and SARD.

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...An outstanding, comprehensive work that provides the educational tools necessary to help owners and their dogs adapt quickly to vision problems with minimal stress. Levin's sections on how to train blind dogs leave no stone unturned. "Living With Blind Dogs" provides a giant ray of hope for blind-dog owners who until now have had few places to turn for assistance. -- DOGworld Magazine, September 1998

When Ruthie got sick last winter, it was terrible. I was depressed and in mourning. When I read your book, I felt like I wasn't going crazy, that other people felt the same way. I put down carpet runners like you suggest in the book, and it was great! Making her walk on the runners gave her the confidence to try and walk in public again. Ruthie is doing so much and all because of you and your wonderful book. Thank you again! -- Mollie H. with "Ruthie" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

With a unique combination of professional experiences, Caroline Levin has created the first-ever resource book for the owners of blind and low-vision dogs. Both the veterinary community and dog-owners alike are hailing the arrival of "Living With Blind Dogs". In it, Levin successfully answers the question most commonly asked by devastated pet-lovers: "What do I do now?"

Levin came to write this book, when after a decade in human ophthalmic nursing she left that field to manage an ophthalmic veterinary clinic. Here, she was able to meld her knowledge of ophthalmology with her love of dogs, developing badly needed educational materials for clients. Levin took the opportunity to meet many blind dogs and talk with their owners.

Caroline Levin is also an award-winning dog trainer. She has an in-depth understanding of canine behavior and the methods used to successfully train dogs. She shows her dogs in obedience competitions and the new sport of musical canine freestyle. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing you can do for your blind dog! April 28 2004
Your best friend has just lost his eyesight. You are devastated. Your dog is depressed and confused. Your primary care vet hands you off to an opthalmologist. The opthalmologist speaks in a strange tongue, medical-ese, and gives you treatment options you don't understand. You are worried about quality of life and may even be considering euthanasia.
Sit! Stay! Read this book.
Caroline Levin explains SARDS, cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, dry eye, and many more conditions which lead to blindness or reduced vision. And she does it in plain English. You will learn new training techniques and commands which will help you and your best friend get back to the most important part of your relationship - LIVING! There's a good reason Caroline put that word in the title of her book. Blind dogs can, and DO, live happy, useful, rewarding lives!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for this book July 19 2003
By shaw6
When our dog Annabel went blind, we didn't know how to help her. She was severely depressed and unable to cope, bumping into things, getting disoriented, going to the toilet inside, sleeping a lot, moping, etc.
I followed the advice in this book, and within two weeks, Annabel was able to negotiate her way around the house, find her bowl and water, get up and down the stairs and go to the toilet outside.
Within two more, I was walking with her in the park, and within another month, I could take her pretty much anywhere.
I simply added some extra commands when out walking: "up" for a little step, "ready, up" for a big step; "down" for a little step down, "drop" for a big step down; "turn" with a lead tug to indicate direction. Together with commands she already knew, "stop", "cross the road" (which means trot quickly), "OK", which means go, it gave us all the tools we needed.
We'd be out in the streets, crossing busy roads, sitting in cafes, negotiating crowds and she was fine (as long as the crowds weren't too thick). We'd also take her into the country, along beaches, bush tracks, up hills etc.
People often couldn't tell that she was blind because she looked as though she was doing everything herself. Ocassionally she'd need a little reassurance, a bit of a pat, and then off she'd go again.
The key to this was making sure that she got the command *before* she was expected to do it, so that she didn't find the drop or step before I gave her the instruction. That way she learned to trust my commands, and to relax enough so that she wasn't always worried about tripping or bumping into things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped us see Feb. 19 2001
I don't have a great way with words, but I want to give praise to Caroline Levin for writing this book. When our dog "Cotton" was diagnosed with SARDS and then Cushings Disease, we were devastated. This all happened in a period of just a few weeks. With a sick dog, from too much Lysodren (the medication for Cushings), a blind dog (who could not distinguish between light and dark), and a depressed dog (who now could not navigate stairs, find the door, food, toys or distinguish sounds), we felt we had nowhere to turn.
On the Internet we found this book and its author. We did order the book directly from the publisher and thank God for being able to do that. Cotton is doing great and we are all benefiting from this book. Everyone who has a dog with low vision or blindnes should have it. Every veternarian should have copies of this for their patients to read.
Caroline Levin gives such indepth information about the causes for blindness and such well explained instructions for retraining your dog in ways that work. Cotton, in less than two weeks, finds her bowl, is entertaining herself, wags her tail, and feels secure again about going down and up the stairs. We have a long way to go and with the help from this book, we will improve every day.
If your dog is blind, please read this book. It saved us from continuing to let our "Cotton" suffer from the depression she was feeling. We feel we have our dog back. Oh, and this is not a young dog, our "Cotton" is 13 years and 9 months. And we thought she was too old to learn new tricks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book For Yourself AND Your Dog July 27 2000
This book covers 3 main areas: medical problems that cause blindness, logical things to do that will make your environment safer for your dog, and things you can do for yourself to make the developing events go more smoothly. It covers the psychological issues that you and your dog will face including depression, anger and confusion. It suggests reasonable solutions to problems that you and your dog will face and has sensible, easy to understand instructions that employ items that you would normally have around your house.
One of the areas that I found most beneficial was the specialized training strategies and commands to prepare your blind dog for the challenge of being in an unfamiliar environment.
This is not an easy book to read if you are still dealing with the grief of your pet loosing their sight, but there are also stories of how other people have overcome the difficulties and developed an even stronger bond with their pet. It includes different games that you can play with your blind dog and has many suggestions on special things you can do to make their transition/new life easier and less confusing to them.
I highly recommend this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great seller
Fast and exactly as described. This book is impossible to find locally, so I was thrilled to find it online for a reasonable price.
Published 12 months ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative!
For anyone currently living with a blind pet - this book is filled with great information and suggestions to make your furry friend more comfortable. Highly recommended.
Published 13 months ago by Carol C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks!
It was nice to get some info so we can help our now blind dog, it will help us to work with her!
Thank You!
Published 15 months ago by Joslyn Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Living With Blind Dogs: A Resource Book and Training Guide for the..
Excellent resource for anyone living with a blind dog. Invaluable information - has made my life easier, especially emotionally. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Gillian Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Living with Blind dogs
I never read it in the end as our dog adapted so quickly to having her eyes taken out - Aagh! that it was not necessary. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Carolyn Ernest-Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing hope
It's been a few years since I used this book...but having just recommended it to some friends who are facing this difficult issue, prompted me to write this review. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2011 by Pugalug
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made the difference.
My Samantha died recently at the age of 18-1/2. Because of this book her last years were happy and comfortable. Read more
Published on July 26 2001 by Zelda Barnard
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped us see
I don't have a great way with words, but I want to give praise to Caroline Levin for writing this book. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2001 by Patricia W. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Friendly rebuttal to previous reviewer
I have read this book and felt compelled to respond to comments in the review below.
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a dog with vision... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2001
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