Marine Corps veteran adopts blind rescue dog Louis

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SAN DIEGO — A blind rescue dog that stole hearts around the U.S. during his search for a loving home has been adopted by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who also suffers from vision loss.

FOX 5 introduced you to Louis on Tuesday. He came to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe from Calexico after a previous owner neglected an eye infection, causing him to lose both of his eyes. He also suffered a broken leg.

His caretakers were looking for a special home for the 3-year-old Lab and Shepherd mix after his tough journey to San Diego.

“He’s incredibly gentle. You can tell he loves people, he loves other animals,” Jennifer Gercke with the Helen Woodward Animal Center said. “But he’s having to learn how to live in the world in the dark. So that’s part of what whoever adopts him is going to have to realize.” 

On Friday, staff announced Louis was adopted by the Walkers, a family that submitted an application and essay after seeing Louis’ story in People magazine.

Steve Walker is a Marine Corps veteran who starting losing his sight at age 18 because of a rare eye disease called Retinitis pigmentosa. Despite his vision loss, he’s competed in marathons, triathlons, and the World Championship Ironman in Hawaii.

Louis will have plenty of company living alongside the family’s other rescue pets, including a bulldog named Dragon and bunny named Honey. The Walker home has been outfitted to accommodate Steve’s vision loss, with pocket doors instead of swinging doors, a one-story layout and other special features.

“In addition to having other animals to keep Louis company, someone else in the household could connect to Louis’ experience of losing sight later in life, that person being Steve Walker,” the animal center said on Facebook. “While Louis’ journey with us at the center comes to an end, his life is full of adventure ahead of him, and we can’t wait to share updates from his family once they settle in with this incredible dog.”

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