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Breed: English Setter

Sex: M, neutered

Age: 8.5 years

Weight: 58 lbs

Location: MN

Good with other dogs: Yes

Good with cats: Yes – ignores them

Good with kids: Yes – LOVES children

Crate trained: No – terrified by being enclosed

Housebroken: Yes

Health: Very good

Special needs: Going blind due to Progressive Retinal Atrophy, diagnosed by veterinary ophthalmologist (see below)

Supplements: Ocu-GLO for eye health, Dasuquin for joint health

Medication: Trazadone 50 mg 2x/day for anxiety

History: Lived in Virginia hunting preserve until his declining vision prevented him from hunting. Then he was kept in an outdoor kennel all the time. After a while they gave him up to Rescue. We brought him into rescue in early December, 2022. He has been in foster care while we evaluated him.



Report from his foster sister, Iris:


Deer Peoples,


This Iris, Norby’s foster sister. I am Border Collie so I can ‘splain EVERYTHING.


Norby came to us a little uncertain, but hopeful and happy – and already loving. He is a really nice friendly boy – a real Southern Gentleman. He is always happy to be with us and is ALWAYS polite. The only time he is not polite is when he sneaks some of Mama’s food when she is not looking! But I have to admit that I have done that, too.


Norby is a very special guy. He is vizhuly impared – that means he don’ see so good. Mama took him to speshul doctor that looked at his eyes. I show you pickture of doctor looking at Norby’s eyes. Doctor said Norby has sumpin’ called PRA. That stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy. That means that little part at back of eye called retina is degenerating. Mama give you links to read about it. It not hurt him. He jus’ don’ see good when light dim or sees nothing if dark. He don’ like tah go outside at night, but Mama and us go out with him to make him feel safe. He romps in yard like normal when bright daylight. Doctor say ‘ventually he go completely blind even in daylight. Doctor say supplement good for Norby’s eyes. Not cure it but slow down progression. Mama give link ‘bout supplement, to ‘dopter that interested.


Norby a happy-go-lucky boy, and boy is he happy! Mosta the time his tail wag and wag. Mama call it a case of Happy Tail!


Norby likes ta be with the Mama almost allah time. It helps him not to be too anxshious. I know a little about anxshious. Sometimes we all go in the car when Mama hasta go someplace, and none of us anxshious when we are in the car. Very calm. Sometimes Mama has to leave house. She tells us “Hold down the Fort” and gives us each a Kong with peanut butter. Then we all hold down the fort till she come home.


Here what Mama and me say would be good for Norby.


  • Norby needs a home with LOVING peoples. That's the MOST important.

  • Norby wanna be in same room with the peoples. He LOVES his people.

  • Norby loves children, even little ones. We show you pickture of Norby with Mama’s grandson. But he could knock over very little children by accident.

  • Norby want more than one peoples to live in the house. That way one can go to grocery store and Norby get to keep one at home so he's not alone. Still, he getting much better at holding down the fort with no peoples.

  • Norby wishes he could snuggle on couch, but he Big Boy and our couch is little. He will settle for dog bed.

  • Norby really likes other dogs. Not to play. Just to hang out together. Like me.

  • It be good if Norby lives in house with no stairs. He can do stairs but he needs help, spechully going down. Steps to outside easy, but full staircase inside still kinda hard. We put gate at top so he doesn't fall down if he wanders at night. He doesn't wander much, but we're very careful. As his vision continues to decline, full staircases will become more of a hazard.

  • Norby does not like a crate. He gets scared when he is closed in & his people go away.

  • Sometimes he comes and sleeps with me. I don’t mind.

  • Norby likes to sleep a lot. He's younger than me but he act kinda older.

  • Norby is cat SAFE!

  • Like I said – He speshul boy.


Notes and links from the Mama


Norby is really a sweetheart. He wants to be with his person/people all the time. He will boop you with his nose – just to reassure himself that you are there. I’ve gotten used to being booped in all sorts of odd places!


Norby would do very well with a calm non-alpha dog-sibling. He not only likes to be near my Border Collie, but he also will exchange kisses with my other English Setter. He gets a lot of comfort from their presence, in addition to human presence. He will not, however, get cues from other dogs. So if there is a dog that is warning him away, he will not catch the cue. This makes him extremely vulnerable to alpha-type dogs. He cannot protect himself against aggression.


Norby adjusts quickly and well to new people. He loves having people in his life!! He loves to ride in the car, but will usually need a boost to get all the way in. He can get down by himself. He walks with a harness, and I recommend the kind with the front attachment. He will pull less than if you use a back-attachment. He gets a lot of pleasure out of walks, but he does not need long walks. He adores children and ignores cats.


Norby is completely house trained except for two accidents. He had one accident (poop) when I didn’t get the door open fast enough. He was telling me. I was just slow. He had another accident (pee) when I gated him in a small room when I had to leave and he was anxious. He was not on trazadone at that time. Trazadone has helped his anxiety, and we do not try to crate him or gate him anymore. He can reliably be left with his foster sisters for 3-4 hours and I think it will continue to increase.


Here are some links about his eye condition and the supplement that the veterinary ophthalmologist recommended to slow the progression. This condition is not painful, and he really doesn’t know he is impaired, except he is tentative when the light is dim and extremely tentative when it’s fully dark. Eventually he will become completely blind, but his quality of life can still be great. He mapped the house and yard very quickly, and can navigate smoothly. This makes it hard to tell exactly how advanced his blindness is. Even at night, he will leap off the back steps because he knows exactly what is there.


Progressive retinal atrophy


Steps going up – He can go up on his own, and will sometimes follow me upstairs on his own. When he is learning new stairs, he does better with someone going along with him or right behind him. He has long legs and he wants to take the steps 2-3 at a time. He kind of bunny-hops, but it is hard on his hips when he takes multiple stairs going up. It’s good if you are behind him to touch-reassure or help him if he needs help.


Steps going down – He will be enthusiastic and want to take 2-4 steps at a time, even going down. This works when there are only 3 steps going to the yard – then he just jumps down. But when coming down a full staircase, this does not work! He slips on the bare wood steps easily. He is getting better at it, but he still needs someone going down backwards ahead of him to talk to him or to touch-guide him to keep him from falling head over heels. The words I use are CAREFUL, STEP-DOWN SLOW, over and over with each step. Lots of encouragement along the way. And lots of praise at the bottom!! He has made great progress! I hardly have to touch him coming down anymore!


I will share the language I use with Norby to potential adopters to ease his transition to a new home – but he’s very smart. He will learn your words quickly!

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