Tao is a gorgeous 11-year-old golden retriever who loves frolicking in lush green Somerset (UK). But in February 2019, he stopped running and was scratching his eyes more and more frequently while whining. Worried, his mistress, Melanie Jackson, 42, took him to the vet. The diagnosis is made: the dog has glaucoma, a disease that affects vision. There is no choice but to remove her left eye to stop the pain. “It all happened so fast, he was fine in the morning, but at night he was shaking his head, which suggested he was in pain. Five hours later, his eye had been removed,” says Melanie.
Eleven months later, Tao’s second eye must also be removed. Resilient, the canine quickly adapted to his new life: “We were pleasantly surprised when, just three days after his operation, Tao began to climb and descend the stairs on his own,” reports the forty-something who nevertheless feels that his dog is not happy.
Despite his young age, Oko immediately takes care of Tao and does not leave him with a sole
So she decides to find him a little companion and adopts Oko, an adorable eight week old golden retriever puppy. From their first meeting, the two doggies forge very strong bonds. Despite his young age, Oko immediately takes care of Tao and does not leave him with a sole.
To the point that Melanie has even created an Instagram account (@tao_mr_winky), which has already attracted more than 44,000 subscribers. “Oko is amazing for such a young puppy, she says. He accompanies Tao to the fields and that gave him the confidence to play and run. With Oko he is reborn.”
“Canine glaucoma does not necessarily lead to vision loss if caught on time”
Now 20 weeks old, the puppy takes his role as a guide very seriously and undergoes rigorous training with his mistress. “Otherwise, he would be driving Tao without taking into account the risks. He’s still a curious puppy and a bit of a fool. Tao, on the other hand, is trained to follow the scent of Oko.”
Since September, Melanie has been working with the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog association, to raise awareness about canine glaucoma: “Glaucoma doesn’t necessarily lead to vision loss. In fact, it can even be. easily countered if diagnosed at a sufficiently early stage, ”she says. This was not the case for Tao. There is a moral to this story: in dogs as in humans, in life, to be well, nothing beats a good friend.
Tao and Oko © INSTAGRAM TAO_MR_WINKY