Ellie’s Seeing-Eye Dog

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Seeing-eye dogs are a feature of most urban areas and a godsend to folks disabled by challenges to their vision. What isn’t so common is a seeing-eye dog for a dog.  Ellie, a King Charles spaniel, is the victim of abuse by humans and almost totally blind. Kept in the dark most of her life before her rescue by the local SPCA, her eye muscles haven’t developed and  she suffers from bilateral cataracts. While the SPCA raises money to pay for an operation that could mitigate the problem, Ellie’s protection  has fallen to an unlikley hero.

Leo, a massive German Shepherd, has become Ellie’s eyes and bodyguard.  Says Julie Lander, a volunteer at the Rochdale’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UK),  “Leo, who’s an absolutely massive dog, has become her eyes … I take them for walks in the park and Leo guides Ellie around. He is so protective and herds the more boisterous dogs away from her.” 

It’s unknown whether Leo realizes Ellie’s disability or acts out of instinct to protect a smaller friend, but the reason seems less important than the sentiment. “It’s touching to watch them together. [Ellie]  follows him around and snuggles up to him,” says Lander. 

In this era of balancing budgets on the backs of those least equipped to bear it, perhaps a lesson in caring and compassion lost among some animals of the two-legged variety.

Source:  Paw Nation

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

12 thoughts on “Ellie’s Seeing-Eye Dog”

  1. Thanks for the citations, I looked around for some info but my search terms were probably lacking.

    This is a sad development. I am glad though that they were apparently kept together until Leo met his end.

  2. The story about Leo and Ellie in the Manchester SPCA newsletter is from July 17, 2011 so I’d not put much faith in the uncredited statement by Norma.

    It would be a shame to adopt them out separately, I hop they find a good home together.

  3. norma:

    Thanks for the update. I’d put this inscription on the marker for our noble Leo:

    Parva sub ingenti matris se subicit umbra.

    (“The weak protected in the shade of the great.’)\


  4. mespo,

    Very sweet…

    (I think that I may have seen a vid of the two of them somewhere, but I’m not sure…)

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