It seems fitting that dogs should have a halo — and with Muffin’s Halo, they get just that. It’s a 3-piece navigation device that attaches with a harness and acts as a rubber bumper for blind or visually impaired dogs. It helps them walk, run, and even play with the confidence of knowing they won’t run into things.

For a blind dog the relief from that stress can make the difference between depression and living a life of joy.

When Silvie Bordeaux’s toy poodle, Muffin, began to lose his eyesight, people were telling her she might have to put her dog down or he could injure himself. For three years she worked on developing a product to help with Muffin’s debilitating blindness.

During this time, Muffin ended up in critical condition when a vet internally lacerated him, by mistake while checking on a stomach mass.  As Muffin fought for his life in the emergency room, Silvie vowed that if he survived she would devote her life to helping blind dogs.

Muffin recovered and was the miracle behind her inspiration. Silvie began working out of her home and started Muffin’s Halo, making halos, with the option of customized wing designs, and selling them for dogs of all sizes. She also started the non-profit Second Chances for Blind Dogs, with the goal of helping blind dogs world-wide.

“My dream is for all blind dogs in shelters/rescues to be wearing Muffin’s Halos to help them navigate themselves into their furever [forever] homes quickly and take the stigma of blindness away.”

She sees the halos as a way to help others who may be confronted with euthanizing a pet. “I was stunned to find out how many dogs are abandoned or put down because they go blind.”

Blind dogs in shelters are often the last to be adopted and the first to be killed. Surgery isn’t always an option with blind dogs and many people are told to euthanize their pets as a solution to medical problems. With the halo a dog’s life is much more manageable for both people and dogs.

Sadly, Muffin has passed away. But for Silvie, these halos remain her life’s purpose. Last year over 800 halos were donated to places as far-reaching as Israel, Istanbul, South Africa, Iran, and England (see Basil below). It takes just one success story to see what a difference these halos can make in a dog’s life. Let’s hope with continued awareness, dog angels everywhere can get the wings they need.

Image: Damien McFadden