Ready for a sweet tale of friendship in unlikely circumstances?
Of course you are. You were born ready.Meet Sheeva the two-year-old American Bulldog, who’s serving as a guide dog to blind six-month-old puppy Paddy. The pair became best pals when Paddy arrived at the RSPCA centre in February, months after Sheeva had been taken to the shelter when her owners were evicted from their home in December. Staff needed an older, wiser dog to play with excitable puppy Paddy and teach him the basics, so paired him up with Sheeva – and they struck up an immediate bond.
The duo play together in the fields most days, with Sheeva guiding Paddy around as he can’t see where he’s going.
Staff at the kennels believe Paddy was bred on a puppy farm and that he may have lost his eyesight as the result of an untreated infection as a newborn puppy.
He is completely blind, but thankfully doesn’t experience any pain or discomfort as a result.
Sheeva, meanwhile, needed surgery on her entropion – a very uncomfortable condition in which the lower eyelid folds inwards causing the lashes to run on the eye – and was diagnosed with allergies which staff are now managing. So she knows what it’s like to struggle with sight.
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.
‘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.
‘Understandably there are certain things that can prove a little tricky for [Paddy] – 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.
‘She’s a big dog and she’s very bouncy, but she’s so gentle – particularly with Paddy.
‘It’s as if she knows she has to take extra special care around him.
‘It is so sweet to see them interacting and playing together.’
For a dog who loves to tear apart stuffed animals, make a durable activity ball with a Hol-ee rubber ball, scraps of fabric, and treats.
Now the government has given permission for animal rescue centres to begin fostering and rehoming, Sheeva and Paddy will be looking for their forever homes.Lauren added: ‘Sheeva is a very friendly, fun and clever girl who is looking for a 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.’
To inquire about adoption, email [email protected] or call 01422 365 628.
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