One of our most important tasks to accomplish during Kingston’s time with us is working on his socialization. He is a pup who really, really wants to love everyone, but who also has some (totally justifiable) fear of the unknown. Especially when the unknown is a tall, shadowy figure. Most of you who know his story will see this as no surprise. So we have been doing our part to help him have positive experiences with lots of new people. But what we’ve recently learned?
There might be more than expected that is shadowy to Mr. K.
In the photo above, taken last week, Kingston met with an AMAZING force-free trainer who came to the house to help us with his separation anxiety. We had a phenomenal session, one that armed us with some new tools to approach his issues with being alone (don’t worry, we will be sure to share our knowledge in future posts!) But we also got more than we bargained for, when the trainer did an assessment of his vision.
I have always had my doubts about his vision, and had brought it up at one of his veterinary appointments. Kingston seemed to be more hesitant in low lighting, relied much more on his nose and ears, would often miss things that caught the attention of the other dogs, and was not able to even follow food when tossed in his direction. The vet unfortunately brushed off my concerns without assessing him or asking from where my suspicions arose. However, my worries were confirmed during our training session… the trainer recognized his trouble before I even mentioned it!
The good news is that his eye issues are very likely minor. While we will, of course, pursue further medical advice, his eyesight certainly does not seem to interfere with his daily life in a negative way. We have no way of knowing whether this is something that is a genetic issue (he is an all white dog!) or something that occurred as a result of trauma (we know abuse was a regular part of his early life) or some other type of developing medical condition.
What does this mean for his future? Well, not a whole lot. It may mean that his adoptive family should be prepared to approach his training via primarily oral cues, as opposed to relying heavily on visual hand motions. More importantly, it will mean that they need to be diligent about managing his interactions with new people and children.
We love Kingston just the way he is, and want to find a family who feels the same way. We are prepared to help equip his adoptive family with all of the tools they need for a successful life together by being transparent and up-front about all of his many amazing qualities and also his challenges.
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for our first installment of Training Tuesdays!