Harley, the Blind Therapy Dog


Yes, it’s time once again for the #WATWB monthly feature. You may have noticed my affection for dogs. This is another post about what they bring us humans. Warning: if you are sensitive, this might move you to tears–albeit not sad ones. It’s about a therapy dog that is blind, having had to have her eyes removed due to glaucoma. That doesn’t stop her from bringing joy and consolation to children in the hospital. Read the story here.

This month’s cohosts of the We Are the World Blogfest are  Simon Falk, Roshan Radhakrishnan, Inderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, Damyanti Biswas. Please visit their sites for more stories of happy news.

Blind dog visits girl in hospital
© LAUREN PETRACCA/The Greenville News Harley, a yellow lab who lost her eyes to glaucoma, visits with Maryann Jarnagin, 16, at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Greenville on Thursday, July 13, 2017.





15 thoughts on “Harley, the Blind Therapy Dog

  1. Hi John – what a great story … Shriners sounds like a wonderful hospital. Yet Harley certainly offers that little extra – the animals do love being with the sick, or the elderly … and they are inspired and encouraged by them … it was a great read – especially knowing Harley was blind himself …. cheers Hilary

  2. Wonderful story John, and frightening too. Eight years ago my annual eye exam showed similar symptoms. I was sent to a specialist and within 2 weeks I had a procedure done to relieve the pressure that they told me if it wasn’t caught I’d be blind in 6 months in both eyes. They drilled pin holes in both my eyes (irises) with a laser to relieve the pent up pressure. Ironically I had no idea I had a problem. Good thing I go to eye doctor annually. Poor Harley. 🙂

    1. Humans and canines share many afflictions, including glaucoma. Once one gets on the glaucoma risk wagon, it’s critical to have regular checks because it can quickly result in irreversible blindness. My wife has that risk in one eye because she had a macular pucker removed. That precipitated an early cataract surgery and semi-annual monitoring for glaucoma. The unfortunate reality for dogs is that even with insurance, the costs of treatment for some problems can be quite high. We spent more than $14,000 over time on hip and cancer treatments for two dogs.

    1. Wow–17! That is an old dog. We have a young one now, who won’t be four until about January. One can never be sure about shelter adopted animals; it’s all a guessing game based on dental development. But he’s a happy and friendly one who could someday do therapy as he calms down with age. 🙂

      1. Yes, he’s ancient in the dog years :). Kudos to you for getting shelter dogs– that’s a beautiful, human gesture– I wish more of us would adopt from shelters.

  3. This is an inspiring story. I especially loved the part where the nurse said she needed some of Harley’s therapy, that’s when the tears flowed. Thanks for sharing this, John, and for being a part of #WATWB

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