“That’s our boy! Good boy Military Working Dog Asur! On a nice warm Nevada Day, our retired MWD is playing ball outside with his 2 fur-brother’s, Rookie and Champ. But it’s not that easy… This German Shepard boy is totally blind.
One day in June of 2013, we received a phone call from our daughter, Bonnie-Jill. She was calling from Camp Pendleton, CA. She said “Hi mom, we just adopted a beautiful retired German Shepard boy.” I said “We did?” Long pause….on both ends. “Why is he retired?” I asked…No answer.
What follows are a series of texts with pics of this unique looking dog… But wait, I don’t see his eyes! Oh My Gosh, this boy is blind! I immediately tried to digest this. We are getting a retired, trained explosive and patrol K9 that can’t see! We already own some special needs dogs, so what’s 1 more? But he’s huge! How will he get along with our smaller dogs? Will he eat them for snacks? Is this a big mistake?!
The Marines gave us his medical records that resembled a small encyclopedia. The Purina Company came over with a trainer and a car load of gifts. Asur looked like a 5 year old opening presents. Tips and books came via the internet. (Thank you everyone!) Wonderful people saying “Thank you for your service” and “thank you for adopting him”.
Long story short, we moved furniture, adjusted feeding times, took “blind tip” precautions and turned our home into a blind and seeing space. Are things perfect? No sir, our boy learned to adjust to his new home by quickly learning his commands of; Right, Left, About Face, and so on. We used commands everywhere he went. His favorite is “Take” when he’s offered a treat. He shares and waves on commands. Through a lot of hits and misses and “whoops” inside and outside, he’s learned the all familiar “Careful!!” Where he’s learned to doge anything he’s about to bump into and misses by a milometer of an inch! Asur never barked as a military dog, however now enjoys an excited bark or two and howling as a pack with his fur-brothers…. This took about 3 months or so.
Later, one horrific morning around 3am, we awoke to heavy banging and wining-yelping sounds. Asur had his first seizure. It is something you don’t forget. It was a devastating time. He has had a series of intense seizures that keep him unsettled and stressed for days. The vet has him on controlling meds and his liver is tested regularly. He is on a special diet that excludes any allergic compounds. So far, he’s doing well and has taught us many things, everyday is a challenge and we never stop trying to find ways to make his life better, because he has truly made our lives better. He’s taught us to never take anything for granted. He “stares” at us with his tilted head. He looks like he truly understands what we are saying…there’s times when things get serious and he acts like he’s really “seeing” what’s going on. He is a wonderful boy and we love him being in our lives!”
We learned that after coming back from his deployment from Afghanistan, he developed glaucoma. It could not be controlled by any medications or treatments. The military vets decided to perform a bilateral enucleation (Both eyes were totally removed)”