U.S.

Puppy Love: Blind Dog Gets Comfort From Seeing-Eye Pup Companion

Meet Charlie, a fun-loving adult golden retriever who lives in North Carolina with his owners, Adam and Chelsea Stipe.

Adam Stipe first took on Charlie when the retriever was just a pup many years ago in Pennsylvania. Charlie became family, and ultimately made the move to Mooresville, North Carolina, with family. 

Charlie wasn’t too far into his adulthood when he developed glaucoma in his left eye during 2016. Discomfort set in, and Charlie’s left eye was removed, according to NBC 10 in Philadelphia.

Charlie's left eye, and half his vision, had been taken from his body. One year later, Charlie’s right eye started bothering him just as bad, and there seemed to be only one solution. The Stipes emptied their retirement to take care of family, and Charlie lost his right eye.

“For us it was a no-brainer, empty our retirement plan to care for this dog because he makes us happy,” Chelsea Stipe said in the report.

Charlie now had no vision whatsoever, but he still had energy. He still enjoyed playing like a dog and taking walks with his owners.

Fast forward a little more than a year, Chelsea Stipe became pregnant, and the family decided to bring aboard a new puppy that could grow with their newborn child. Chelsea said a puppy would be perfect.

The family got a 4-month-old golden retriever puppy named Maverick. Though Maverick was meant to be a companion for a child, he turned out to be a savior for Charlie, who's now 11-years-old (human years). Charlie has a new friend and even more. Maverick has become the eyes and seeing-eye companion for Charlie, who now has more than just family.

The moment they met was somewhat awkward, though, the report stated. Charlie didn’t know what to think of his new furry friend, and meanwhile Maverick seemed to know something was a little off about Charlie.

But both goldens adapted, and they quickly became friends.

“When they would play, Maverick would realize that Charlie would lose the toy sometimes, so (Maverick) would pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime,” Chelsea said in the report

Charlie and Maverick also learned to rely on each other during routine yard time together.

“They almost turn into little sled dogs where they’ll walk together,” Chelsea said.

The story of her two dogs led Chelsea to writing about the pups on a social media website called WeRateDogs, and the saga of Charlie and Maverick quickly spread across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to millions of followers. It quickly garnered likes by the hundreds of thousands, even those writing about their own dogs who have glaucoma.

“It was crazy, it was not what I was expecting,” Chelsea said.

Then again for Charlie and Maverick, they probably never expected any of this, either.

Join the Discussion

Editor's Pick