There was something about the puppy that just spoke to Cassidy Kraus. Maybe it was because no one wanted it. Perhaps it was because the dog is blind, as is her dog, Soto.
“I just had to have this puppy,” Krauss told InsideEdition.com. She had seen a video of the spotted bulldog online and knew it was up for adoption.
But the dog was in California and Krauss and her boyfriend, Brett Weyers, live in Wisconsin.
“I really didn’t think much would come of it because it was so far away,” she said. But she got in touch with the dog’s foster parents through the Sacramento SPCA, and filed an application to adopt the puppy.
The 4-month-old had been with his foster family for about a month after being left at the animal shelter by owners who said they could no longer care for him. The dog was in a woeful state — covered in feces and skin ulcers.
The animal was, shelter workers thought, the product of “backyard breeding,” meaning its parents were related to each other. And the pup was sightless.
“We knew we wanted to rescue a bulldog,” Krauss said. “We hadn’t found one that was the right fit.
"Then I saw this bull dog. And lo and behold we have such experience with this condition,” meaning blindness. Both dogs were sightless as the result of birth defects.
It didn’t take long for good news to arrive. The application was approved. The couple set off last week, with their dog, Soto, in tow, to see if the puppy would indeed be a good fit.
Nap time for the new canine buddies
Soto and the puppy, which Krauss and Weyers have renamed Ago, were instant pals. “They were so excited,” Krauss said.
Soto, in his delight, smacked his head into a pole, but there was no harm done, Krauss said.
Both dogs were bundled into the car, where they got along fine on the 32-hour drive back to Wisconsin.
The family of dogs and humans arrived Monday.
Ago is still learning the layout of his new digs. He walked into his new owner’s home, stepped into their walk-in shower, and promptly began to pee. “I couldn’t really be mad at him for peeing in the shower,” Krauss said.
She was a little nervous taking Ago out for a walk. “We live in an apartment building. We got on the elevator and I said, ‘Ago, we’re close but we're not there, buddy.”
Ago behaved himself.
Krauss said she and her boyfriend will train their new family member the same way they did Soto, using word commands to let the dog know if it needs to step down because of a curb, or to step up because there are stairs.
Ago is also learning the limits of Soto’s patience. The puppy will tug on the older dog’s lip, Krauss said, as an invitation to play. “And Soto will bare his teeth, which is really irrelevant,” since both dogs can't see a thing.