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Blind Golden Retriever Gets a ‘Seeing-Eye’ Puppy

Clear the Shelters
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Charlie is a blind, 11-year-old golden retriever who has turned his new puppy companion into his own tiny “seeing-eye” dog.

Charlie and Maverick are two golden retrievers that are taking social media by storm with their story — a 4-month-old puppy helping a blind dog “see” again.

Their owners, Chelsea and Adam Stipe, used to live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but now reside in Mooresville, North Carolina. 

Adam Stipe has had Charlie since he was a puppy, his wife said. The older dog has adapted well to being blind and still loves to play and take walks.

But the story of his own personal seeing-eye dog started back in 2016 when Charlie had to have his left eye removed because of glaucoma, which was causing the dog discomfort. 

Only a year later, Charlie began to lose sight and experience pain in his right eye, so his owners decided to have it removed as well.

“For us it was a no-brainer, empty our retirement plan to care for this dog because he makes us happy,” said Chelsea Stipe.

Chelsea said she always wanted to add another puppy to their family, and getting one during her pregnancy would be the perfect way to make sure their child had a dog to grow up with.

On New Year’s Day 2019, the family got a lively and friendly puppy named Maverick.

Although Charlie wasn’t a fan of Maverick at first, the blind dog eventually got comfortable with the puppy.

“They’re both pretty crazy and special. They’re definitely our entertainment,” Chelsea joked.

As the two dogs became friends, Maverick began to notice that something was different about Charlie.

“When they would play, Maverick would realize that Charlie would lose the toy sometimes, so (Maverick) would pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime,” Chelsea said.

Even during walks, the two dogs learned how to support each other.

“They almost turn into little sled dogs where they’ll walk together,” Chelsea said.

Chelsea submitted the dogs’ story and pictures to WeRateDogs, a social media account with millions of followers across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

WeRateDogs contacted Chelsea saying that they loved her dogs’ story and would post Charlie and Mav.

The post of Charlie and Mav on March 18 immediately gained hundreds of thousands of likes across social media with people commenting how much they adore the dogs.

“It was crazy, it was not what I was expecting,” Chelsea said.

Within an hour of posting the pictures, WeRateDogs reached back out to Chelsea saying she should consider making an Instagram account for her two famous pups.

Once Chelsea made the Charlie and Mav Instagram, the account gained more than 20,000 followers in the first day.

“Everything has just been so positive and loving and I’ve even had people reaching out about their dogs who had glaucoma,” Chelsea said.

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Clear The Shelters

Shelters near you


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Thousands of pets are looking for their forever homes and News Channel 8 is On Your Side helping to make that happen in the Tampa Bay area.

We are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, featuring virtual pet adoptions to make it easy for people to donate online to participating shelters and rescues.

More than 150,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015 and we want to add to the number.

Find a shelter near you:

  • Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane, Land O'Lakes
  • Paw Warriors, Inc., 355 Spring Time Street, Spring Hill
  • Pinellas County Animal Services, 12450 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  • Cat Haven Rescue, Inc, 1231 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Wesley Chapel
  • Cat Haven Rescue, Inc - Pasco, 8529 Little Road, New Port Richey
  • SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave N, Largo
  • Bishop Animal Shelter SPCA of Manatee County, 5718 21st Ave West, Bradenton
  • Hernando County Animal Services, 19450 Oliver Street, Brooksville
  • SPCA Florida, 5850 Brannen Rd S, Lakeland
  • Barking Out Loud Rescues, Inc, 300 N Lake Drive, Lorida
  • Precious Paws Rescue, Inc., Citrus County Florida, 5164 S. Florida Avenue, Inverness
  • Humane Society of Pinellas, 3040 State Road 590, Clearwater
  • Hernando County SPCA, 9075 Grant St, Brooksville
  • St Francis Society, PO Box 261614, Tampa
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, 3607 N Armenia Avenue, Tampa
  • Rebels Rescue, Petco 136 S. West shore Blvd, Tampa
  • SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  • Friends of Strays Animal Shelter, 2911 47th Avenue North, St. Petersburg
  • Florida English Bulldog Rescue, P.O. Box 754, Odessa
  • The Humane Society of Polk County, Inc, 3195 Dundee Rd, Winter Haven
  • The Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th Street, Sarasota
  • Hands Helping Paws Rescue Inc., 53 W Bay Blvd S, Lake Wales
  • Humane Society of Manatee County, 2515 14th Avenue W, Bradenton
  • Highlands County Sheriffs Animal Services, 7300 Haywood Taylor Blvd, Sebring
  • Manatee County Animal Services, 305 25th St W, Palmetto
  • SPCA Suncoast, 7734 Congress Street, New Port Richey
  • Citrus County Animal Services, 4030 S. Airport Rd, Inverness
  • St Francis Society, PO Box 261614, Tampa
  • FLUFF Animal Rescue, 9400 SEMINOLE BOULEVARD, SEMINOLE
  • SPCA Tampa Bay, 9099 130th Ave N, Largo
  • Polk County Sheriff's Office Animal Control, 7115 De Castro Rd, Winter Haven
  • The Greener Side Haven, Inc., 3892 N Lecanto Hwy, Beverly Hills
  • Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka City

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