Seguin – A Seguin blind and deaf dog is not letting his disability stop him from serving others who are disabled in South Texas.
Braille Kenney, 11, is an active therapy K9 with Delta Pet Partners San Antonio. Kelly Kenney, his owner, brings hism all over the place to various social events so several in the community are familiar with who Braille is and what he stands for.
“We go to different places and businesses,” Kenney said. “Like children at hospitals and older people at nursing homes. He goes to charity events as well as outdoor events.”
Braille also raises money for big causes such as causes to fighting cancer.
“He is just there for the people and very involved with children,” Kenney said. “He also raises money for no-kill shelters.”
Kenney said if it wasn’t for people who cared, Braille would have been euthanized.
“He would not be here and what a shame that would have been because he does so much for children and adults,” Kenney said. “He loves going to Morgan’s Wonderland. He is especially fond of children with autism and down’s syndrome.”
Kenney said Braille was abandoned out in the country at a rental home with other dogs where people packed up and left them.
“A neighbor called animal control and they were picking up and catching all of the dogs,” Kenney said. “Braille had wandered to a neighbor’s house and the man said, ‘This one is blind and deaf.’”
Braille was three months old when the Guadeloupe Animal Control picked him up.
“They started realizing how smart he was and just talented,” Kenney said. “He was very friendly and just adventurous. I got him when he was six months old and he has never looked back.”
Initially, Kenney said she was hesitant to take Braille.
“I sent him back,” Kenney said. “I thought they were crazy. I live in the country. How am I going to take care of a blind and deaf puppy? Then I felt bad and I was going to try to make flyers to find him a home at a fundraiser that was happening but then I felt bad that I wanted to do that, so I went back, and I brought him home. After I prepared this whole yard for him so the poor little blind deaf puppy wouldn’t have any trouble,” Kenney joked. “Well, turns out I wasted my time because he didn’t need it.”
Kenney said she would soon learn that Braille was not only capable to be on his own, but that he was very special with a personality that is larger than life.
“I let him be a dog,” Kenney said. “He goes out to his yard and he eats, and he comes in and sleeps. He is just as normal as any other dog. I was worried at first about him because of him being blind and deaf and I would set things up so he couldn’t get injured. He would figure things out before I could stop panicking.”
While providing companionship, friendship and entertainment to others, Braille’s biggest characteristic that comes out is being happy.
“He is always happy,” Kenney said. “Sometimes, too happy. You think, ‘How can you be so happy?’ We could not give him this personality he has.”
Kenney said Braille is also spoiled by his community when he goes out and about.
“He is a lover of meat,” Kenney said. “He lets you know how quality the meat is with the burp afterward. He loves junk food and snack food. He loves Cheetos and sugar cookies. He loves to eat fries with cheese sauce and jalapeños. He will not turn down pizza. He also drinks red wine and his favorite beer is Bud Lite.”
Though Braille’s diet seems like that of a human, he primarily eats dog food and drinks water like normal, and doctors say he is 100% healthy.
“He does snort, especially when he is playing with kids because he gets excited,” Kenney said. “He does have things that will come out of his nose and they do get attached to my clothes. He does not hesitate if he has to let something come out of his stomach. It doesn’t matter where. He will find his way to a picnic table and raid chip bags.”
Kenney said there are several other characteristics and funny quirks to his personality, but the thing that humbles her the most is his compassion and love for others.
“I have learned more about compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and strength and bravery from this dog than I could ever from a book or a person,” Kenney said. “I realize, my headache isn’t so bad. My back doesn’t hurt that bad. I watch him and I see the things he does when he interacts with people and situations and he never complains.”
She herself said she struggles with ADHD and a learning disability as well which used to bother her, but now she has gained confidence.
“I am 61 now but when I was in school, I was always called stupid and was told I would never succeed at anything,” Kenney said. “Finally, as an adult, I was tested, and they found out I was major with ADHD and an eye deal where my eyes won’t allow in too much light so I can’t read black pen on white paper.”
She said she was always thrown out of classes.
“I was always kicked out of school,” Kenney said. “It wasn’t because I was stupid, but it was because I was reacting to the moment and always moving. Like Braille! Maybe he has it too! We are ADHD twins,” she laughed. “I just thought I was stupid. I figured well I am just not very bright.”
Kenney said Braille teaches more than just her a lesson in life.
“It doesn’t matter if you are blind, deaf, autism, down’s syndrome,” Kenney said. “It doesn’t matter. We are all here. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, we are all equal. I am Braille’s mother. This is Braille. He is the one that does the work. He is the one that makes the difference. I am just along for the ride.”
If you know something like Braille or someone like Kenney who are making a difference in the South Texas community or who has a unique story, send us your tips. Contact Japhanie Gray on Facebook or @JGrayKSAT on Twitter. You can also send your tips to KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Facebook.