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Heroic Couple Promise Feral Blind Dog That She’ll Never be Hungry or Hurt Ever Again

Heroic Couple Promise Feral Blind Dog That She’ll Never be Hungry or Hurt Ever Again

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Every year brings new ‘first’ experiences. First job, first house, and so on.

For Kate Matthews, medical director of Hope Animal Rescue, 2020 brought another new ‘first’: her first foster of a blind dog.

Stevie Wonderful, named after the blind artist Stevie Wonder, had been brought to the rescue in October.

Workers immediately knew that there was something wrong with her sight.

“Her eyes were bulging out and horribly infected and she couldn’t see at all out of either of them,” Kate said.

The shelter surgically removed both eyes and sewed Stevie’s eyelids shut. After a month of recovery, she was able to go home with Kate.

Then it was time for the real work to begin: transforming Stevie from a near-feral street dog into a sweet, domesticated pup ready for her forever home.

From ‘Feral’ to ‘Friendly’

As far as the surgery was concerned, Kate said it didn’t seem to have much effect on Stevie.

“It’s like she had no idea she was missing any sort of sense whatsoever,” said Kate.

She speculated that Stevie had been suffering from sight issues for a long time, and that Stevie had been living like a blind puppy even before the shelter had to remove her eyes.

The real problem wasn’t Stevie’s blindness– it was her behavior.

“She was very feral. She was used to living on the streets. It was all she knew,” Kate recalled.

Though Stevie wasn’t aggressive with Kate or other people, she did have issues with food guarding and play behavior.

Stevie approached food like it was the last meal she’d ever have. It took some time to assure her that she would never be hungry again.

Day by day, Kate was able to teach Stevie that people weren’t threats to her food or toys.

Instead, Stevie learned that there would always be another meal waiting for her and that it was fun to play with other people.

Kate watched in awe as Stevie made a beautiful transformation. She went from a feral dog with trust issues to a “total sweetheart.”

Stevie definitely learned a lot from her foster family. And as it turns out, she taught them a lot, too!

Learning to Love

Kate admitted that she underwent a steep learning when after Stevie arrived.

“At first, we didn’t know what we were getting into. We’ve never fostered a blind dog before,” she said. “So it took a lot of training and learning from each other.”

However, there was a silver lining. Though Stevie was blind, she had no trouble exploring a new space.

“Being blind didn’t seem to bother her at all, she got the layout of our house within five hours and was just wandering around,” Kate said.

But Kate and her husband still worried. They weren’t sure how to introduce Stevie to stairs or how to take her on walks.

However, a little patience and a lot of love went a long way.

“There were multiple times where we’d almost forget she was blind, so we’d go on a walk and just forget that we’re leading her. Unfortunately, a sign would get in the way a few times,” Kate joked.

Even so, they were determined to learn how to help Stevie and best prepare her for the future.

Soon, Stevie had picked up all the training and tricks. Kate and her husband were amazed by how intelligent Stevie was.

Stevie learned quickly and made great strides on how to live life as a blind pup. She could navigate the stairs and streets like a pro!

Soon, Kate realized Stevie was ready for a forever home.

Nothing Lost, Everything Gained

It didn’t take long for Stevie to get adopted. After all, she was a total sweetheart and won the hearts of anyone she met.

Stevie has been adopted by a wonderful husband and wife with a two-year-old son and another baby on the way.

To go along with her new life, the family also renamed this lucky pup Justice.

The wife is in law school and the family loved the name because of another popular saying: Justice is blind.

“I thought that was very clever,” Kate said. 

Kate is so happy that Justice found such a loving and thoughtful home.

She’s also relieved that the family understood that, while Justice is special in her own way, she’s also just like every other dog.

“A dog with a disability— be it blind, deaf, missing a leg or two— it doesn’t change anything about the dog,” Kate said. “But overall they’re still going to be healthy, happy dogs and shouldn’t be thought of as anything different.”

Justice proves how true this is. She’s faced many obstacles in her life, but blindness was never one of them.

Instead, it’s simply part of who she is. Instead of focusing on what she’s missing, Justice is grateful for what she has: a loving family to spend the rest of her life with.

Watch Stevie’s journey!

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Kate Kenner

Saturday 7th of August 2021

What a beautiful dog and so smart! She had to have been to make her way in the world with little or no sight but clearly a very good dog nose.. I was feeling a bit stressed and she helped me feel a bit better. She can not have the life every dog should have.

Sara Wade

Tuesday 8th of February 2022

@Kate Kenner,

Cindy Miller

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

What a wonderful happy ending for Justice (Stevie) thank u for help her & getting her a better life.