I once heard a fellow grad student say Galileo went blind because the the Church tortured him, I said no, he went blind because he looked at the sun through a telescope.
Turns out both stories are myths.
Galileo did go partially blind from cataract and glaucoma in his 70s. “Galileo was well aware of the dangers of direct solar observations and seems to have predominantly used the projection technique after initially observing at sunrise and sunset” (Astronomy Journal).
“On a normal day your pets don’t try to look at the sun and therefore don’t damage their eyes, so on this day they’re not going to do it either.” — Angela Speck, co-chair of the National Solar Eclipse Task Force, who probably had a hard time believing she actually had to answer that question, in an Aug. 21 NASA media briefing. —Wichita Eagle
P.S. I fixed the Wichita Eagle’s clickbait title: “Worried about your pets during the eclipse? Here’s what NASA says.”