A bouncy bulldog and a young, blind collie have struck up and unlikely friendship after the gentle giant took it upon herself to act as the pup’s guide dog.
Two-year old American bulldog Sheeva arrived at the RSPCA’s Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District branch in December after her owner had been evicted.
Fundraising manager Lauren Moore said: “Sheeva and her poor owner had been walking the streets all night after being evicted from their home. Nowhere would offer Sheeva’s owner a place to stay because he had a dog, so he decided to sign her over to us, which was a really hard decision for him. She was initially very wary of us but, with time, started to come around and show her cheeky and playful side.”
Sheeva needed surgery on her entropion – a very uncomfortable condition in which the lower eyelids folds inwards causing the lashes to run on the eye – and was diagnosed with allergies which staff are now managing.
Lauren added: “Once Sheeva started to interact and play with other dogs, she really started to come out of her shell and shine. She’s taken a real fancy to Paddy, who is now her best friend.”
Six-month old border collie pup Paddy arrived at the centre in February when his owners’ circumstances changed, and they were struggling to cope with his blindness.
“We believe Paddy came originally from a puppy farm,” said Lauren. “Vets suspect he lost his sight as a result of an untreated infection as a newborn puppy. Although it’s left him completely blind, thankfully it causes him no ongoing pain or discomfort.
“Understandably there are certain things that can prove a little tricky for him – such as navigating his way around when he’s off-lead. But Sheeva has been fabulous with him and acts as a guide dog to him.”
Paddy was doing well with training but had become excitable around other dogs, so staff searched the kennels to find him the paw-fect pal to play with him and also teach him some manners. Sheeva caught their eye.
“She’s so big dog and she’s bouncy, but she’s so gentle – particularly with Paddy.” Lauren said. “It’s as if she knows she has to take extra special care around him. It’s so sweet to see them interacting and playing together.”
Now Defra has given permission for animal rescue centres to begin fostering and rehoming – under strict new social distancing procedures – Sheeva and Paddy will be looking for their forever homes.
Sheeva is a very friendly, fun and clever girl who is looking for home with older children. She could live with another dog.
Paddy is a sweet and cheeky pup who loves belly rubs. He needs a calm, adult-only home with owners who understand his blindness and can continue his training and support him.