A beautiful story of dog loyalty – to another dog, to another blind dog.
I first received this lovely story last Sunday from Dan G., dear friend of over 30 years. As is my want, did some research to discover the source of the story. It appeared on the website of Ross Parry Agency on the 22nd October, 2011 (note the pics are copyright rossparry.co.uk) But I have taken the liberty of reproducing the story as it appeared in the UK Daily Mail online site, on the same date. Enjoy.
Meet the blind Great Dane in need of a home (but you’ll need to make space for HER huge guide dog)
By NADIA GILANI
Last updated at 1:01 PM on 22nd October 2011
When illness forced vets to remove Great Dane Lily’s eyes, the prospects of a fulfilling life didn’t look good.
But then no one had reckoned on her pal Maddison stepping in to turn guide dog.
The pair have been inseparable for years but now find themselves looking for a new home because their owner could no longer cope.
The catch for anyone interested is that the Great Danes come as a package. They have been waiting at the Dogs Trust re-homing centre in Shrewsbury since July.
Manager Louise Campbell said: ‘Maddison is Lily’s guide dog. If they are out and about, for the majority of the time Maddison will lead and Lily will walk nearly touching her so she knows where to go. It’s lovely to watch. Maddison is always looking out for her.’
Lily, six, was barely a puppy when she was struck down by a condition that caused her eyelashes to grown into her eyeballs, damaging them beyond repair.
It was after this traumatic event that her relationship with seven-year-old Maddison developed as she took her under her wing.
The best buddies lived together until their owners decided they couldn’t look after them any more.
Miss Campbell said: ‘With her lack of sight, Lily’s other senses have heightened so although we don’t split them up often she can tell if Maddison is nearby.
‘They curl up together to go to sleep and they are very vocal with each other.
‘We haven’t analysed their different barks but if Lily wants to go forward and Maddison is in her way, the bark will have a different pitch.
‘They are very close to one another and enjoy each other’s company‘.
Miss Campbell said that Lily does all the things normal dogs do and if you saw her from a distance you wouldn’t realise she had anything wrong with her eyes.
She added: ‘They are really happy with life, the glass is always half full with these two.
‘They have been with us for a considerable amount of time but they are quite happy and go about their daily routine – they are very affectionate.’
She believes the dogs’ size and advancing years, as well as the fact they have to come in a pair, may have put off potential owners and she warned that anyone contemplating taking the dogs in should look at their lifestyle and think of the responsibility involved.
‘They are not gigantic when you see them outside. These are two lovely big girls who deserve to live out the rest of their lives together in comfort‘, she said.
Dogs Trust cares for around 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year through a network of 17 re-homing centres.
Back to me. Must say that it was just fortuitous that Dan’s email came in to me a little while after I posted yesterday’s article by Robert Holden, The Gift of Happiness. Indeed, shortly after I had written, “Perhaps the art of happiness is yet another thing we can learn from dogs!”
Anyone in the UK who wants to contact the Dogs Trust click here.