When her toy poodle Muffin went blind last year due to cataracts, Silvie Bordeaux was devastated.
“I saw him go right into a wall and fall down the stairs,” she said. “I was frightened, and people said ‘you’re going to have to put him down.’ I said ‘that isn’t going to happen.’”
The little dog became very depressed and was afraid to move around. Silvie made it her mission to come up with a solution – and through trial and error she came up with “Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs.”
It looks like a cross between a hula hoop and the face guard on a football helmet. It helps blind dogs navigate because it prevents them from bumping into things.
“They feel cuddled and protected because it redirects them. It helps them to memorize,” Silvie says. “They register it’s a hard surface, they smell it – ‘I have advance notice that I’m coming to a hard surface.’ It’s amazing to watch.”
Brigette Zeis’s shih tzu Sasha lost her sight due to SARDS (sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome).
“My husband and I were getting desperate,” she says. “Sasha’s personality was changing so much and we thought maybe she had dementia before she was diagnosed.”
“Once the vet told us it was SARDS we knew she was blind. Finally, I think I punched in the right thing on the internet and I found Muffins’ Halo.”
Sasha didn’t take to the halo at first – and Brigette discovered that the Sasha just had the wrong size. Once she got the right size halo, she took to it right away.
“She had her face smashed so many times before,” Brigette says. “She would forget she was blind and would run into things. With the halo she can run into things and it won’t hurt her.”
“When she bumps into things it’s this thing around her that guides her in the right direction. She knows that if she bumps into something it’s going to steer her the other way. It’s been a miracle for Sasha.”
Silvie says blind dogs are the first to be euthanized in shelters.
“They are the first ones on the kill list. There is nothing wrong with them, they just need help,” she says. “Can you imagine a dog that’s 14 years old and blind and suddenly they’re in a shelter?”
She says she’s made it her life’s mission to prevent such sad situations, and she says she gets a lot of thank you letters from people.
“A lot of (the dogs) are taken to the vet to be put down and the vet says no, no you need a halo,” she says.
The halo doesn’t interfere with a dog’s normal activities. He can eat with it on, sleep with it on and play with it on.
Silvie says she’s helped hundreds of blind dogs in the past few months. And she’s gotten orders from around the world.
“I ended up closing a deal with a girl by using a Mandarin Google translator,” she said.
The halos come with angel wings, butterfly wings, or, for you Seahawks fans, a quarterback look.
“I do the quarterback look for big dogs – they have their blind side covered,” Silvie says with a chuckle.
The halos come in several colors. The price ranges from $89.95 to $134.95. Ordering information. (Note: If you order a halo for your dog, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how it goes)