Dogs help humans in endless ways, but it isn’t often that they get to help one of their own. In the case of Maverick, a four month old puppy, he now has a chance to be of service to Charlie, an 11-year-old golden retriever who lost his sight to glaucoma in 2016.
Charlie’s owners Adam and Chelsea Stipe had to make the difficult decision of having his eyes removed as a result of his illness. What they never expected is that he’d get a second chance at life with the help of a four-legged friend. In January, the Stipes, who live in North Carolina, brought Maverick home, and although the two dogs weren’t fast friends, they’ve since become family. Charlie relies on Maverick for help with everything, including walking, playing and eating.
“They’re both pretty crazy and special. They’re definitely our entertainment,” Chelsea, who recently had a baby, told Today. “When Maverick and Charlie play, it’s definitely great to watch because Charlie turns into such a puppy. It’s sweet to see them get along and enjoy each other.”
The Stipes say that as the dogs began to get used to each other, Maverick soon started to follow Charlie’s patterns and routines. When playing, the puppy noticed that Charlie would often lose track of this toys, so Maverick would bring them back to him. The couple have since started documenting the relationship between the two dogs on Instagram.
In their first post, the Stipes joked that “Maverick is here to help Charlie around and Charlie is trying to teach Maverick manners. 🤣definitely a work in progress.” The caption was accompanied by a heartwarming picture of the dogs posing for the camera. Other posts show the dogs napping together and playing tug-of-war.
Four days after the account was created, Charlie and Maverick already had more than 52,000 followers. Now, they have nearly 80,000 fans. “We have definitely been overwhelmed with the response, but it’s such a good thing,” Chelsea told Today. “We love how positive the community is and how happy [the dogs] are making everyone.”
According to PetMD, glaucoma, a condition which puts pressure on the eye, can result in insufficient fluid drainage in the eye, causing permanent damage to the optic nerve and resulting in blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma is common among dog breeds such as Samoyeds, cocker Spaniels, poodles, chow chows, and Siberians. Nearly 40 percent of dogs affected by glaucoma will go blind in the affected eye within the first year, regardless of treatment.
Symptoms of glaucoma in dogs include blinking of the eye, the eyeball receding back into the head, redness of the blood vessels in the whites of eyes, cloudiness at front of the eye, dilated pupils, or vision loss.