It’s something that any dog owner dreads–the vision loss of their beloved pet. But for Graham Waspe of Stowmarket, England, his dog Edward’s vision loss was especially traumatic.
You see, Edward is Waspe’s seeing eye dog.
After six years of loyal service, Edward, an 8-year old Yellow Labrador, was diagnosed with inoperable cataracts and had to have his eyes removed.
Waspe, 60, who lost one eye and has partial sight in the other, was devastated for his longtime canine companion.
“If it was a person or a child you could at least explain to them what was going to happen,” Waspe said.
“In the case of an animal, of course, you can’t, so we found that side of it very traumatic”
Waspe’s wife Sandra said the couple “cried and cried” once they learned that Edward would have to undergo surgery.
However, this story does have a happy ending.
Enter Opal, another Yellow Labrador trained as a guide dog, who is now not only Waspe’s new seeing eye dog but also Edward’s loyal companion.
“They’ve become quite good friends and get on happily together,” said Waspe. “There are certain times I’m sure where Opal will help and Edward is happier by having another dog around.”
And Edward seemed to cope better than his owners anticipated – the commands of “left” and “right” he learned to guide Waspe proved handy in helping him adjust to life without sight.
“He’s just the same old Edward, except I have to say sometimes ‘Mind your head Edward,'” Sandra said.
The couple plans to return the loyalty Edward showed them.
“We just wouldn’t want to leave him,” Graham Waspe said.
They plan to care for the pooch “until the day that either we go or he goes.”