Last year, Silvie Bordeaux, a Los Angeles publicist, made a pact with God. Shortly after she learned that her 12-year-old toy poodle, Muffin, had gone blind, the dog ended up in the emergency room after he was accidentally lacerated during a vet appointment to inspect a suspicious mass. The prognosis was bleak. On her site she describes how, while he was in critical care, she was home "on my knees sobbing all night, surrounded by his bed, toys and clothes, I pleaded to God to please save my precious dog and promised in return, upon his recovery, Muffin and I would be of service and dedicate our lives to helping blind dogs."

Muffin lived! So, Bordeaux started investigating what kind of aids exist to help blind dogs. Underwhelmed by her findings, she decided to develop her own product: Clear vinyl tubing, filled with wire and covered with plastic, to be worn around a blind dog's head to protect them from bumping into things. She called it "Muffin's Halo". Here is Muffin wearing his angelic protective gear as he explores a hotel room for the first time.

I can be a little critical about gratuitous dog getups, but, like Doggles, Bordeaux's patented invention is both cute and useful: The rim acts as a barrier to help give a dog a sense of where he is before his nose face hits a wall. The wings protect the side's of a dog's body. And the whole getup makes him extra noticeable, which probably means it less likely that he'll end up underfoot in a crowded elevator. For larger dogs, Bordeaux is developing a sturdier version of the device that makes the the dog look like a quarterback.

Muffin, who is now pushing 13, seems to really be benefiting from his halo. I will be curious to see if this product takes off. It certainly seems like there is a lot of heart behind that little halo. Bordeaux is selling them on her site, starting at $89.95.



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