A guide dog for a blind dog

by Leanne Thompson on July 25, 2009

Five year old Border collie Clyde is completely blind, but thanks to his partner, another Border collie called Bonnie, he gets a new lease of life as Bonnie acts as his guide dog.

This pair of dogs was featured in the Telegraph on Friday, describing how Bonnie stays only inches from Clyde and guides him to food, water and even on walks.  She even allows him to rest his head on her legs when he gets a little disorientated.

Reportedly, Clyde seems as capable as any sighted dog when he’s with two year old Bonnie but otherwise, he refuses to move.

The two dogs were rescued stray dogs only 3 weeks ago when they were abandoned in a storm.  A passer by found them and when she opened her car door, both dogs jumped in.  Bonnie and Clyde have yet to find a new home.  They are currently at the Meadow Green Dog Rescue centre in Norfolk but the two have to be re-home together.

Cherie Cootes, from the dog centre, commented:

“If Clyde’s unsure where he is he will suddenly go behind her and put his face on her back so she can guide him where he is going.  He totally relies on her the whole time. When she walks she tends to stop and make sure he’s there – she does look out for him.  When Bonnie’s about you wouldn’t necessarily notice Clyde is blind, but when she’s not about he refuses to move without her.

“There’s absolutely no option of homing them separately – they have to go as a pair.  She’s just so good with him. They really are the most lovely pair of dogs. We’ve got to find them a home.”

Neither dog has a collar or a microchip and nobody has claimed them.  The dog centre has said they would be ideal as pets for anyone with a large, secure garden, safe from busy roads.

Cherie said: “They’ve got very nice manners and they walk well on the lead. They really are a very sweet pair of dogs.  Clyde’s going to have to have a more rural type of home purely because of traffic. It would be fantastic if someone had a large garden so he can have his exercise.”

The centre looks after 45 rescued dogs at the moment.

Aa spokeswoman for Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said this was the first time she had ever heard of one dog voluntarily guiding another like this.

She added: “This is a very unusual case – it’s such a lovely story.  Some dogs take to guiding better than others because they naturally have the right temperament.  It very much depends on the individual dog.”

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