Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wild Kingdom: Blind Pet Deer and Guide Dog Best of Buddies

Brandon, Maple the deer and Shakespeare the Guide Dog
Three years ago, GDB graduate Brandon Foshee adopted a baby deer who was blind and named it Maple. Brandon decided to adopt the baby fawn after it was abandoned by its mother and rescued by a local forester. When Maple was found she only weighed 4.5 pounds and needed to be bottle fed.

When Brandon brought the 1 week-old baby deer home, his first Guide Dog, Salsa, a female yellow Lab treated Maple like she was her pup. In 2009, Brandon was partnered with his current Guide Dog, Shakespeare, a male black Lab. Since Maple and Shakespeare are close in age, they have a more spirited sibling relationship. When out of harness, Shakespeare and Maple run around the yard for hours playing with each other.

Maple has another unusual trait… she loves meat. If Brandon is cooking up something on the BBQ and brings it inside to eat, Maple will knock at the back door with her hoof.

Brandon is not sure if Maple thinks she is a dog or a deer.


  1. I was very excited to see this article. I raised Salsa for Brandon. I was so sad to hear that she got hit by a car. I'm glad to see Brandon got another dog. That is really fun to see that the dogs get along so well with the baby deer.

  2. I am so happy to see Brandon smiling as he often does. He makes me feel wonderful just seeing him overcome so many hurdles. Everyone loves "Shakey" too. I love you Brandon!

  3. I first came to know Brandon when we met at Guide Dogs, when we both were receiving our second guides. I quickly began to admire the grace and fortitude that Brandon radiates when faced with adversity. Since our graduation a year ago we have maintained a rich and rewarding long-distance friendship, that seems to blossom as time and life’s little challenges carry on.
    It is no surprise to me that Shakespeare’s gentle ways have bonded him to Maple as well as to each and everyone that he encounters. Brandon and Shakespeare are a perfect match in my humble opinion.