Together Forever: Dachshund with Vision Problems Adopted with His Guide Dog

Herbie has a constant companion in Hilda, who shepherds him around

About a month ago, some awful individual dumped three dachshunds over the fence of a Salem, Oregon, home owned by a man who had at one point been known as something of a dachshund rescuer.

The man, no longer being in this vocation, took the three dogs to the Marion County Dog Services shelter, who in turn contacted Diane Young and Salem Dogs, a local dog rescue.

One of the dogs, a healthy male with black coloring, quickly passed temperament tests, was put up for adoption at the shelter and soon found a home.

The other two, a mismatched pair named Hilda and Herbie, were a bit more problematic. Hilda, a long-haired female, had an obvious connection to Herbie, a smooth coated, dappled male.

“It’s not uncommon for dappled-colored dogs of any breed to have vision and hearing problems, and when I and the shelter staff saw Herbie walk into walls, it was obvious he couldn’t see much,” Young told the Statesman Journal.

“We believe he sees some shadow and movement, but Hilda shepherds him around and protects him, and we knew immediately they needed to be adopted as a pair,” she continued.

While adopting two dogs — one of which has vision problems — might seem like a tall order, retirees John and Dorothy Sinnar of Yakima, Washington, were up to the challenge. In April, their 16-year-old dachshund Annabelle passed away in their arms, and they were looking for a new dog.

“I’d been Googling dachshunds and knew we wanted a rescue because we’d rescued Annabelle from a puppy mill in La Pine years ago, and I somehow got onto a Salem site and saw Hilda and Herbie,” John Sinnar told the Statesman Journal. “I told Dorothy that ‘I think these are our dogs’ and I knew immediately that we had to go see them.”

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The couple drove nine hours in their RV to meet the dogs, and warmed to the pair immediately. Hilda’s love for Herbie was obvious; when Dorothy was holding him, Hilda jumped and barked around her legs, calming only when Dorothy lowered Herbie to let Hilda check in on him.

Young was thrilled that Herbie and Hilda found a home as a pair, even if the pain of parting with the sweet couple was almost too much. “I can’t look,” she said after thanking the Sinnars and turning quickly to walk back to her car. “I can’t bear it sometimes.”

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