Dogs come into ESRA’s care for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, when you look at a dog such as this handsome boy, you may wonder why he would need help from a rescue. Let us explain Oakley’s situation.

Although Oakley is just three years old, he has already been with his ESRA caregivers since October of 2020. Now, almost a year later, this young, resilient, active, and healthy boy is ready to find a special family to call his very own.

Not unlike many other ESRA dogs, Oakley found himself in a shelter at a young age. While he may look quite normal in these photos, Oakley is, in fact, almost completely blind, and his original owners were not equipped to handle an animal with a disability. As a result of his vision impairment, Oakley came into ESRA’s care with quite a bit of baggage, in the form of fear that manifested itself as aggressive behavior. He was terrified of many things (such as a visit to the vet, other animals, strange humans, and abrupt motions), and he was always at the ready to defend himself.

During the past year, Oakley has been cared for by a very loving and experienced foster family, and he has really blossomed. He has thrived despite his disability, and he has come a long way in learning to trust. Oakley is highly energetic, and he has done incredibly well living in a foster home situated on several acres. He has learned to navigate the property, and he knows where he can expend some of his pent-up anxiety. He has also learned the layout of the house, and he will find his way to the doggy door when he needs a potty break or just wants to roam around.

Oakley is very smart and has become quite well behaved. He knows many commands such as Sit, Stay, Come, Down, Off, Leave It, Wait, Stairs Down/Stairs Up, Watch Out, and Be Careful. He is learning to greet people properly when they first greet him with a “Hello, Oakley” or “Hi, Oakley.” He will sit and offer a paw to shake and will gently take treats from people that he gets to know. In fact, he has become good buddies with the UPS and FedEx drivers who bring him treats! Oakley is a work-in-progress with leash walking, but he has learned to heel if someone has treats that remind him to stay by his person’s side. He has a very strong prey drive and enjoys scent games that allow him to find hidden treasures!

While he has come far in his training with humans, Oakley can still be reluctant to interact with other dogs. He currently does very well with two dogs in his foster home, but there is a third dog there that he feels compelled to protect himself from because she has clearly relayed to him that she is a dominant force. This means that they must always be kept separated to keep everyone safe. For this reason, and to prevent any potential risk of reactivity toward another dog, we feel that it would be in Oakley’s best interest to be the only dog in his Forever Home. He would also NOT do well in a home with cats or other small animals.

Handsome Oakley is quite the cuddler, and he will gently lay his head on your lap for attention. He is also quite fond of car trips! He is well behaved in the house and can be left alone without issue.

While Oakley’s vision loss might prevent him from being the “perfect” dog for some people, he does so well that many of those who meet him don’t even realize that he’s blind! An annual visit to the ophthalmologist for an eye exam is highly recommended in order to monitor Oakley’s comfort and the potential for the development of other eye diseases such as glaucoma. He is in very good health otherwise except for early signs of possible hip dysplasia. This should be watched as he ages to ensure that his activity level won’t hinder his mobility.

ESRA is looking for a very special family for this amazing boy. Oakley has come such a long way with proper care from an experienced foster family. He requires someone who can handle a smart, strong, and independent dog, and he needs a securely fenced in yard. There should be no young children in his Forever Home. His foster family and his state coordinator require that anyone interested in adopting Oakley must first set up a meet-and-greet at his current foster home, where he has developed security and comfort, to truly assess the potential match.

Are you ready for some fun with a very special companion? If so, then Oakley might just be the boy for you! Please contact his foster parents, Julie or Clay Mohr, at [email protected] to learn more about him!