I've written this article on my Podenco Post blog but I want to share it with you because the situation with our podenco could just as easily be written about a galgo.
Bo (Bocelli) is a blind podenco we recently adopted from life on a chain in Lorca, Spain. Having both had dogs for all our seven decades of life, we have never had a blind dog. So it is a new experience for us. He has now been with us for a couple of months and is settling in very well. He can now find his way out of the kitchen into the garden to the toilet, and back again. Luckily we have a ramp at our back door rather than steps, which is much easier for him. He hasn't so far ventured into the rest of the bungalow but no doubt he will do it one day, in his own time.
He shares his home with Rosely, a sighted podenca, and very often shares his bed with her. She wears a bell on her collar so he always knows where she is. He is at the stage of wanting to play with her in the garden, but after 6 years shut in a shed breeding babies, Rosely doesn't know how to play. Her main interest is her stuffed toys, baby substitutes I suspect.
We don't have any green spaces near us, living on the edge of a small town, so we decided to buy a ramp for the car, and OH started training Bo to walk up and down it in the garden, with it raised on a few bricks. Last weekend we decided to try Bo using the ramp to get into the car. With him on a lead and using the word 'ramp' Bo amazed us by walking up the ramp without hesitation, wearing his harness and lead. Add to that he just lay down in the car, so no worries about him being unsteady whilst travelling. See the 2 videos below.
On an extending lead he happily walked along the green tracks by the river, alongside Rosely - who is having to adjust to the world outside of an enclosed shed. The only time he was nervous was when we had to pass 2 border collies straining noisily at the end of their leads - and they made us nervous too!
He's now been to our local vet to register with the practice, and for OH to have a chat about his eyes in particular. His face in particular carries scars and the ends of his ears are damaged; these she assessed as him having been attacked. From the state of his eyes, she confirmed he had cataracts for a few years, but he can see light and shadow, which is what we have found too. She felt the bare patches on his bottom (see photo of him on the bed with Rosely) are a result of him sitting up on hard concrete, starved so that his bones protruded. That was my assessment too. Poor boy, he has had a very hard life for 8 years. Now for the rest of his life he can enjoy a comfy warm bed, 2 meals/day, treats, lots of loving, and trips in the car on adventures!
I found a couple of very helpful facebook pages where owners of blind dogs can exchange information. Having never come across a blind dog in all my experience, I am surprised at just how many there are, and how many are finding loving homes. Bo has cataracts - if these are caught quickly enough, they can be operated on, just as with humans. Other eye conditions resulting in blindness are not so easily treated.
Here's a link to cataracts in dogs. And 2 videos of Bo and his ramp.