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Blind Shih Tzu, Puppy Mill Survivor Overcomes Rough Start

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 1:15pm
blind shih tzu

If ever there was a dog whose prospects looked grim, it was Carson the Shih Tzu. Two years ago, when the three-year-old breeding dog was rescued from a puppy mill in central Minnesota, Carson’s face and underweight body were completely overwhelmed by huge mats of hair, urine and feces. When his rescuers bathed him, they discovered that his eyes had been eaten away by infection. There was nothing left to save: His eye sockets were cleaned out and his lids sewn shut.

Jessica Danielson was on seeking a companion for her senior pooch Diesel, and although she wasn’t looking for a challenge, she was drawn to Carson’s posting. “I knew I could give him everything he needed. God put him right there and said ‘This is the one. He needs you.’ When I called the rescue to set up a meeting, Carson’s foster mom almost started crying because she thought he’d never find a home.”

“It took almost a year before he would trust me enough to cuddle me, kiss my face, and just feel safe enough to wander the house,” remembers Jessica. In spite of his rough start, Carson is now a very loving and affectionate boy who has taught his new mom, in her words, about “survival, trust, and the real meaning of love!”

Carson’s impact on Jessica doesn’t end there. Now in love with the breed, she went on to adopt two more rescued Shih Tzus—Ernie and Mr. Wiggles—and became a volunteer foster mom for special-needs dogs through Ruff Start Rescue.

Did you adopt a puppy mill dog? Tell us your story by emailing [email protected]. And remember, never buy a puppy in a pet store or online—they almost always come from puppy mills. While a pet store puppy may be hard to resist, purchasing one dooms his parents, dogs like Carson, to lives of cruelty, filth and neglect.

Visit to learn more and take the pledge not to buy anything at pet stores or on websites that sell puppies.

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Jessica Danielson

This is so amazing to read! Carson is an excellent example of the destruction and pain that puppy mills bring to this world. Although it took patience and persistence on my part to show Carson not all humans are bad;it was worth it to see him play with his new brothers, run across the yard, and kiss my face. He deserved to be saved, loved, happy, and healthy!


What wonderful work for Jessica to be involved in! It breaks my heart to read these stories because I want all puppy mills to be shut down and made illegal, but at least there are people out there to help the victims!

Michelle Pelow

This story brought tears to my eyes. Very sweet. I applaud Carson's Mom...and am so relieved for Carson.


We need more people like you in the world, Carson's mom. I'm tearing up writing this. My mother recently lost her dog, one whom I know came from a puppy mill and I told her, as did her bf - DON'T get a dog from the puppy shop! They are puppy mill dogs, and there are plenty of dogs in shelters who are looking for loving homes. Althought I do feel bad for the dogs in the shops - they will be bought at a point, I just won't be the one to do it! Yay for Carson and his new family - what a little angel :)


It is amazing to see what these two have provided each other and how they have come to mutual love. Patience developed love! Bless you both!


I applaud these people for rescuing these precious animals. We have a Shih Tzu and hes the greatest dog ever. We love him so much. Puppy Mill owners sicken me and I can only hope government impose harsher laws and mandatory prison sentences against these criminals.


This shows what a tough breed the Shih Tzu is and why I love my own little girl Lexi so......

Charito Villafuerte

My husband and I adopted two Shih Tzu and we love them too much. Carson reminds me of them especially our daughter Love-chan:-) Love you Carson!


OMG what a wonderful story! Carson and his mom both got lucky to get each other!!!


Thank you for the beautiful story - I also adopted a blind Shih Tzu 12 years ago. My Sammie was the love and joy of my life and brought a smile to the face of everyone who saw him. His handicap did not inhibit him in any way. Even with his many medical issues, he was a happy little guy and gave me so much. I am still grieving his loss - he died in April 2012. I now have another rescue Shih-Tzu - my little Benji - blind in one eye and my new little love. They give us so much and ask for so little.