Let ‘Ray Charles’ open your eyes

PUHI — “Ray Charles” looks like your average dog.

He loves to go for walks. He bounds around. He plays well with other dogs.

But looks are deceiving.

Take a look into Ray’s big, dark eyes.

Because Ray Charles, like his namesake, is blind.

No problem. At least not for this four-legged friend.

“He doesn’t let his blindness slow him down,” wrote Carla Bissell, a volunteer with the Kauai Humane Society.

The two-year-old hound mix was found in June near Kokee State Park and turned into the Kauai Humane Society. It is believed he was a hunting dog. It’s not known how he became blind, or when, or how long he was lost, but he is in good health.

He was at Natural Pets Hawaii Friday morning, which hosts KHS pets with the hopes to give them exposure and find homes.

Ray, naturally, liked the spotlight.

“He is super loving, friendly, and loves other dogs,” said Tania Hensley, employee at Natural Pet Hawaii. “He loves belly rubs and loves who will give them.”

Laura Lee, development director of the Humane Society, said Ray Charles will need to be adopted by someone who is kind and patient and willing to make a few changes for him.

“His sense of smell has been heightened. An ideal owner would have to slightly change the way they approach a dog,” she said. “For example, it’s better to stick your hand to Ray’s nose before petting him, that way he is expecting it. He also would need a home that stays consistent in the way it’s set up. Moving furniture can be disorienting for the dog.”

Friday at Natural Pets Hawaii, customers were dipping their heads behind the counter to watch Ray play with other dogs, as if he didn’t have any type of handicap.

“This dog is so special,” Bissell wrote. “I hope he finds an amazing person to give him a home.”

The humane society is at 3825 Kaumualii Highway and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Monday.

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