(Picture Credit: skhoward / Getty Images)
10-year-old Kai worked as an Investigation Search Dog, but on Jan. 6 woke up “completely blind” after being “100% normal” just the previous evening. Dixon said that he felt something wasn’t quite right after Kai first tripped over his bed, before then walking into a door.
Fortunately, the pup’s fire service job has helped him adapt to his blindness. As an Investigation Search Dog, he’s used to using his nose a lot. And “within minutes he was navigating around,” said Dixon, who described himself as “amazed” at how his dog adapted.
At present, it’s unknown as to why Kai has gone blind, but he continues to go for tests and check-ups. According to Dixon, “it could be sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS), diabetes, a disease or neurological disease”.
Dixon rescued the pup ten years ago, and trained him for the fire services. His job was to attend the site of a fire in the aftermath to sniff out whether anybody had committed arson, or used an accelerant.
“We always made sure he was safe at work and he had regular check-ups,” said Dixon, who stressed that Kai’s loss of sight was unrelated to his job. “If I wasn’t happy about going in somewhere, Kai wasn’t going in either.”
A Well-Earned Rest
With Kai getting older, Dixon explained that it was getting to the right time for him to retire anyway, so he can at least live out the rest of his years relaxing. But, of course, there’s still time for play too. Recently, despite going blind, he even found a tennis ball in some bushes. “He continues to amaze me,” said Dixon.
Dixon has been active on Twitter, updating his followers on Kai’s condition. You can keep up with the latest news on Kai here.