5 min read

This Poodle Went Blind And Deaf, But Her Sister Takes Her For Walks

Her whole family makes sure she feels safe and loved.

The world Margaux knew her whole life started slipping away when her owners thought she had a snake bite.

"She had this horrible infection on her paw," Scott Jordan, Margaux's owner, tells The Dodo. "We were honestly stumped. We thought it was some rare snake bite."

So Jordan brought the 9-year-old poodle to a specialist in Boise, Idaho. A couple of visits later, and Margaux's family finally had a diagnosis: Margaux had a disease called diffuse pyogranulomatous inflammation, a disorder that crippled her immune system.

"It just started attacking various parts of her body," Jordan says.

Margaux's paw would eventually clear up. But the disease would move on to another part of her body.

"She went through periods where she was perfectly normal," Jordan says.

And then everything hit her at once.

"[The disease] started coming to her eyes," he explains. "It came to one eye really badly."

The decision was made to have it removed. But not long after that, the disease struck her remaining eye - it, too, had to be removed.

On the same day Margaux lost her vision, a veterinarian determined she was also deaf.

Thankfully, Margaux's family, Jordan and his wife, Laura, were completely devoted to her. And she had siblings - Chloe, Suzie and Rhonda - who were only too happy to pick up the slack.

Literally.

The other dogs take turns leading Margaux on her leash.

"They're sensitive to her needs," Jordan says. "When they're working as seeing eye dogs on those trails, they're truly working. They know they have a job to do. I sense that Margaux feels more comfortable being led by one of them than by Laura or myself."

Indeed, the entire family has been pitching in to make sure a dog who can't see or hear can still feel the love.

Jordan is also convinced Margaux is using a kind of echolocation - typically how bats get around - to help her navigate.

"As far as we can tell, she barks not just when she wants something," he says.

Of course, it would be hard to prove that scientifically. Just like it's hard to know for sure whether that's a genuine, scientifically proven smile of joy seen so often on Margaux's face.

Jordan is pretty sure it is.

"What I love most about Margaux is her smile," Jordan says. "Someone wrote, and I think this was from a science perspective, that only human beings are able to smile in a fashion that reveals emotion."

"Watching my poodles especially, I find that really hard to believe," he says.

"I want to believe they do. They do it in context," Jordan says. "When she's having a bad day ... I can see clearly that she's not smiling. And when she seems happy, there's a smile from ear to ear."

And that seems to happen a lot in this dog's brave, beautiful new world.

You can follow Margaux's adventures here.

Watch a video of Margaux and her sisters below.