Monday, 30 April 2012

First Canine-to-Canine Guide Dog


Stray Lab rescues blind pooch by becoming first canine-to-canine guide dog

A lucky homeless dog has been given a whole new lease of life by another stray mutt. Two year old Tanner was born blind and has a seizure disorder. He was sent to Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue Organization, Oklahoma City, after his owner died.

Due to the stress of his loss, his seizures became worse, making him hard to look after as he would defecate and urinate when fitting. Local vet even recommended putting the dog down, to relieve Tanner of his and his caretakers' misery.

Fortunately for young Tanner, Blair, a one year old black Labrador, has shown uncanny empathy for his new friend and now has taken the role as his guide. Staff say the dogs' bond is extraordinary.

'One day they were exercising in a play yard together and they got together,' says Dr Jones. 'Blair seemed to realize that Tanner was blind and just started to help him around.'

The black Labrador guides his pal around the enclosure and buildings, picking up his leash in his mouth when necessary to steer him to safety and play.

The friendship seems to have had a strong healing effect on both animals. Blair, a formerly timid and nervous dog who came to the shelter after being shot, has become a stronger, more confident pooch thanks to his new-found responsibility. 

Even more amazingly, Tanner's seizures seem to have disappeared and now the two dogs board together, inseparable in their companionship.

'We've worked with a lot of different service dogs to provide these services for people but it's the first time I've seen anything like this,' said Dr Jones. 

The rescue centre is now looking for someone to adopt the two animals together.

'They absolutely have to be adopted together,' said Dr Jones. 'But it's going to take a special home with someone who understands their special relationship plus understands seizure disorder and is ready to take on the responsibility.'

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