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Dogs have made a huge impact on visually-impaired people as guide dogs. Unfortunately there are many visually-impaired dogs that also need help. Two women in Georgia have created the “Halo Vest” to help dogs who are blind and need help getting around.
Dorie Stratton adopted a dog, Scottie Boy, who is blind. Her husband had told her, “Nobody wants a blind dog!” Stratton wanted him exactly for that reason. However, Scottie Boy struggled getting around. “He’d bump into things, and he’d cry,” said Stratton. She was determined to find a way to help him when she contacted Ellen Burgess.
Burgess runs an alterations business and Stratton hoped she could help her design something for Scottie Boy that would prevent him from banging into things. They spent about six weeks experimenting with different materials and how to properly secure what is now being called the “Halo Vest.” It consists of a lightweight vest that the animal wears around its neck and front legs. The vest portion wraps around the dog’s back and is secured by Velcro. The halo is sewn into the neck of the vest and consists of aluminum wire and plastic tubing. The halo goes around the face acting as a bumper guard.
Dogs that are blind often keep their heads down and are hesitant. The vest helps protect the dogs from bumping their heads by acting as a guard. Each vest is handmade and costs between $35 and $65. More information on the product can be found at the Halo for Paws website.