A blind dog wears a 'hula hoop halo' to stop him from bumping into things

A blind dog saved from a puppy farm is blossoming in his new home – thanks to a ‘hula hoop halo’ he uses to find his way around.

Beau, the Pomeranian poodle mix, was rescued from a puppy mill along with his siblings, where he was due to be put down due to a lack of demand, in Iowa, USA.

He was then adopted by Samantha Hillstrom, 37, who already had a blind dog, Finn, and knew she could give him a loving home.

To stop him from bumping into things, Beau wears a halo – a tool which helps visually impaired dogs get around safely, check their surroundings for obstacles and determine if it is safe to go in a certain direction.

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Samantha first found Beau on Facebook, when Jennifer Tripucka, 35, who had initially fostered him, was looking for a halo to help him out.

The Pomeranian was just three months old when he moved in with fosterer, Jennifer, in late October 2022, shortly after being rescued.

Jennifer, from Hoboken, New Jersey, US said: ‘We fostered two out of the eight puppies.

‘He was pretty dirty and scruffy, they hadn’t been washed.

‘We were able to watch them and make sure they were in a better place.’

When Samantha spotted Jen’s post on Facebook, she quickly fell in love with the pooch.

Samantha said: ‘Jen and I live in neighbouring towns.

‘I said I would be happy to share tips with her on how to take care of a blind dog. I rescued Finn as a senior knowing he was fully blind.

‘Jen and I sat on the phone Facetiming for hours, talking, getting to know each other.

‘She was holding Beau and I was holding Finn, and by the end of our conversation I just said, “I have to apply to adopt this dog”.

‘Four days later I got approved.’

After six weeks with Jen, Beau moved in with Samantha and Finn, aged 13, a Beyond Poodle mix on December 1.

But tragically, just 36 hours after receiving Beau, Finn passed away.

Samantha said: ‘I truly believe that Finn brought Beau to me.

‘If I was never Finn’s mum and I never learned how to take care of a blind dog and take care of Finn, I never would have been able to take care of Beau.

‘It’s a tragic, heart-breaking story but I do believe these things happen as they’re supposed to, and it is a wild part of the story.’

Samantha said Beau is ‘wonderful’ and ‘very smart’ and has started his training.

Beau is learning how to recognise Samantha’s command, map the apartment and make sure he knows how to get around effectively.

Samantha said: ‘Becoming a dog mum to a special needs dog changed my life in ways I never knew was possible.

‘I never set out to adopt one blind dog, and I certainly never set out to adopt two blind dogs, but what anyone with a dog will tell you is they find who they want in a family.’

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