Meet Tao, the 12-year-old Golden Retriever who sadly had his eyes surgically removed due to glaucoma and eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve. The now-blind dog recovered quickly; but, without vision, Tao struggled to play and enjoy life as he did before the operation. In the hopes of improving his quality of life, his human, Melanie Jackson, decided to welcome a new member to the family. She adopted Oko, an 8-week-old Golden Retriever puppy. The adorable pair instantly hit it off and became inseparable. Now, Oko serves as a seeing eye dog for Tao.
“Oko is amazing for such a young pup,” Jackson tells My Modern Met. “He leads Tao in the fields and this has given Tao the confidence to play and run around.” Having a puppy as a best friend and guide has given Tao a whole new lease on life. “In the past he would follow my scent which was so sad as he loved to run free and play when he was a sighted dog,” says Jackson. “The two of them are always together and are forming a lovely bond.”
From playing together to sleeping next to each other, Tao and Oko do pretty much everything together. And now that Oko is a little older, he’s getting used to his role as a guide, and he’s even going through rigorous training. “Oko is being trained by me,” reveals Jackson. “If not, he would lead Tao into mischief as he is a typical inquisitive puppy. Tao is being trained to follow Oko’s scent and Oko to listen and respond to my commands to ‘stop, wait, go right, go left.’”
Glaucoma can be prevented if it’s diagnosed early, so Jackson is now working with The Kennel Club in the hopes of helping other dogs. The organization is able to analyze Tao’s DNA so that they can help identify other dogs who might be prone to the same eye disease.
Check out some adorable photos of Tao and Oko below, and if you can’t get enough of these cuties, you can join their 33,000+ followers on Instagram.
This is Tao, a 12-year-old Golden Retriever who sadly had his eyes surgically removed due to glaucoma.
The blind dog recovered quickly, but his quality of life diminished.
That's why his owner decided to get him a little pal. Meet, Oko!
Oko now serves as Tao's guide.
But they're also inseparable best friends!