Special Harness Gives Blind Dogs a Nudge in the Right Direction - NBC Southern California
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Special Harness Gives Blind Dogs a Nudge in the Right Direction

The flexible navigation device attaches to a harness, allowing dogs to get around without bumping into things



    Specially Designed Harness Gives Blind Dogs Second Chance at Life

    A Sherman Oaks woman came up with a specially designed harness called Muffin's Halo that is giving blind dogs a second chance at life. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, March 5, 2017. (Published Sunday, March 5, 2017)

    Animal shelters are full of dogs with special needs, and all too often, they're the last to be adopted. Blind dogs, in particular, often end up being euthanized.

    But now, these pooches have a second chance at life thanks to a Sherman Oaks woman who invented a device to help blind dogs after her beloved pup lost his sight five years ago.

    "One day he started bumping into things and fell down the stairs," Silvie Bordeaux said.  "I was wondering 'What's going on?'"

    Bordeaux feared she may have to put down her toy poodle, Muffin, if she couldn't find a solution.

    "I was looking everywhere to see what I could do to help my dog and there was nothing out there," Bordeaux said. "I was devastated and he was depressed and scared. He went from a lively dog to being despondent and scared."

    Her solution: a flexible navigation device that attaches to a harness. It allowed Muffin to get around without bumping into things.

    "It has a bounce to it so when they go to a hard surface it's like a bumper. It redirects them and gives them a signal to their shoulder, a little nudge, and they automatically go the other way," Bordeaux explains.

    The halo gave Muffin a new lease on life.

    "His personality came back and he was upbeat and wanted to explore again and he knew he had the shield and was protected," Bordeaux said. 

    She also started a nonprofit called Second Chances for Blind Dogs, donating Muffin's Halos to shelters, rescue groups and pet owners in need.

    "A lot of blind dogs are dropped off at shelters and rescues because families don't know what to do with them or don't have money for surgeries that cost thousands of dollars. This is a great solution to keep families together," Bordeaux said.

    Muffin passed away a year ago, but his legacy lives on.

    "I feel his spirit every single day. And I call him our CEO in heaven," she said.

    Bordeaux estimates 15,000 dogs all over the world are now thriving thanks to Muffin.

    She has since adopted Prince and Chloe, who serve as models for Muffin's Halo. Both dogs are special needs and now have a unique mission.

    If you'd like to donate to provide a Muffin's Halo for a blind dog, visit the Second Chances For Blind Dogs site or you can buy one for your own pet from the Muffin's Halo website.

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