Brave guide dog dies after returning owner home safely

A brave guide dog managed to get his owner home following 120 mile round trip to Birmingham and Manchester, before collapsing dead from a tumour.

The brave guide dog named Comet managed to successfuly escort his owner, 61 year old David Quarmby, home from his trip despite suffering from the tumour that killed him on arrival. Minutes after the pair returned home from their trip, Comet tragically died from the tumour that caused him pain while he was out.

Comet had been a guide dog for david for seven years, and his owner paid tribute to his friend’s dedication and courage:

He got me off the bus, across the road and up the drive. As soon as we got home, I took his harness off, he took a couple of sniffs and collapsed.

Comet was a brave and marvellous dog who will be missed enormously, a very kind dog who got on well with everyone, the life and soul of the party.

David Quarmby and Comet were in Birmingham as part of David’s role as the chairman of the National Disability Network. He was attending a conference in Birmingham, before returning home. On the way home, David noticed that Comet was unwell – despite his insistence on helping David get home:

When we got into Manchester Comet felt slightly sluggish and I thought he needed to go to the toilet.

When he got on to the train he got under the the table like usual but wouldn’t eat the treat I gave him – that’s when I had an indication that something was wrong.

When we got him home I let him off to got to the loo, he sniffed around a couple of times and then just collapsed – it was completely out of the blue. But he had braved it all to get me home.

It was terrible when he died, it’s like losing a part of you. You develop a very strong bond with your guide dog, it’s a working partnership.

It was all so quick, from me noticing something was wrong to the time when Comet died at the vet’s was all within two-and-a-half hours.

Sadly Comet suffered from a tumour on his spleen, and the vet could do nothing to save him. The priority now, according to a spokesman speaking on behalf of the Guide Dogs for the Blind, is to get a new guide dog for David so that he can become mobile again:

Our priority at this time is supporting David and his mobility needs over the coming weeks and months.

This is an incredibly sad and unusual case.

Guide dogs are bred and trained to transform the lives of their blind and partially-sighted owners and this case clearly highlights the strong bond between a partnership.


  • This is indeed a sad thing to have happened. We all get attached to our pets, at lease I do, & when we lose them , it is a best friend we lose. I am sure a service dog is missed even more, if possible. May God bless & help you David in dealing with this difficult loss. I’m sure Comet loved you so much, as the story told. He is waiting to play with you at the Bridge. Alan

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