(Something wierd happened when I published this a couple days ago…trying again!)
When we first adopted Bodhi, around 18 months ago, we noticed that he had callouses on his legs, something you’d expect on a senior dog, not a four year old. He hadn’t had any training. He wasn’t difficult in any way, but walking him was challenging since he had no idea how to take direction on leash. Our vet said it best when she said he had probably led a life of crushing boredom before joining our crazy household. His previous person, who had clearly loved him – he was as sweet as they come – but hadn’t taken him out into the world much. Maybe he thought a blind dog couldn’t manage.
Once Bodhi learned to walk well on leash we also realized that he didn’t use his nose much. Not like a Labrador at all! His walks were great aerobic exercise with few stops to sniff or eat what could be found on the ground. Again, not like a Labrador. Without sight, Bodhi was focused on sounds for the most part, and that was a great training tool. Bodhi’s bells still get his attention quickly.
But as time has gone on, Bodhi is coming in his Lab-ness and using that nose to enjoy his time outside. He has also started eating what he smells on the ground. Now there’s the Lab in him. The Lab motto has always been: It might be edible…let me check. One of Bodhi’s favorite is eating poop he finds on walks…thankfully most folks clean up after their dogs around here. But watching him learn to explore with his nose has been a treat.
I just love seeing new worlds open up for him, and especially seeing him do the things Labs are known for. Bodhi may have been born blind, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy his other senses.
Bodhi’s heading off to the ocean with us for a few days soon, a little change of pace with different smells and sounds to enjoy. I’m not sure how or why we got so lucky with this fabulous dog. Hopefully he’ll have many more years to keep coming into his Lab-ness and we can continue to celebrate with him.