Wanted: Couple to care for blind Alaskan dog

Darrell Todd Maurina

Specially trained seeing eye dogs have helped blind people for years. Several Clovis animal lovers are looking for a different kind of human-canine partnership: a special couple willing to care for a blind Alaskan Malamute dog.
“Quincy,” a 6-year-old male, is now staying with Doug and Carol Doty, who have taken him in but would like to find a home better suited to a large dog.
“This dog needs attention, needs a safe environment, needs love, and if I can find someone who meets those criteria, I will be happy to turn it over to them,” Carol Doty said. “I want a couple, preferably, because it could take two people to handle a big dog like this. They have to be financially adequate to support a 110-pound dog.”
Doty said anyone adopting Quincy has to have a home that wouldn’t be dangerous for a large blind dog.
“The environment has to be safe, a fenced yard with no built-in injury sites, like low-lying fences sticking out of the ground that could hurt his eyes if his head butts into it,” said Doty. “The placement of the furniture in the house would be important, that he not have something delicate he could run into like a glass case or a curio cabinet.”
Jonathan LaVine said Quincy belonged to a neighbor who recently moved away and no longer wanted the dog. He said he found him at the dog pound one day before he was scheduled to be euthanized.
“Animal control picked him up near the high school,” LaVine said. “Apparently, he just walked right down the street.”
LaVine said the dog’s medical records indicate he is in good health other than his eyes. He would love to keep Quincy if his apartment allowed pets. Malamutes were originally bred to pull heavy sleds in the Alaskan wilderness, and at 110 pounds, Quincy is just too big for LaVine to keep in his one-bedroom home.
“He is very sweet, pretty much trained, knows commands like heel, sit, stay, down and shake,” said LaVine. “We haven’t heard him bark yet, but he’s pretty protective of everybody in the household, even the grandkids who come over. He’s real mild-mannered and great with kids.”
Doty has adopted stray animals before to keep them from being euthanized, but she said Quincy was her first handicapped pet. Quincy’s blindness hasn’t been too much of a hindrance, Doty said.
“You wouldn’t even know that he was handicapped if you didn’t look at his eyes, which are extremely red,” said Doty. “He’s very, very friendly, very affectionate, and loves to be petted and scratched.”
While the Alaskan Malamute breed is sometimes aggressive toward smaller animals that they regard as prey, Doty said Quincy has been nice to her very small Pomeranian dog and her Maine Coon cat. Each of them are about seven pounds and are smaller than Quincy’s head, but Doty said the three get along well.
“Quincy does not maul (my dog), doesn’t drool all over him, put his paw on him, or crush him, so he does get along with other dogs very well,” said Doty. “Gerbils, cats, and smaller pets could be a problem.”
Those interested in adopting Quincy may call the Doty family at 762-3181.