- CRITTER TALK
Anyone that knows German shepherds, knows that they live for their job. A shepherd named Leo took it upon himself to be a guide to his blind friend, Ellie – a King Charles Spaniel.
Several months ago the Manchester Evening News shared the touching story. Ellie, the blind Spaniel, was one of five in a litter of puppies taken in by the RSPCA.
Ellie lost her sight because she had been kept in the dark and the muscles surrounding her eyes had not developed correctly. With her rough start in life and her special needs, it was crucial that she go to a special home.
The home that included Leo the German shepherd was exactly what the doctor ordered. Leo’s owner, Julie Landen, was a volunteer with the RSPCA. She knew that her big dog had a special love for small dogs and felt that Ellie would do well in her home.
Landen’s suspicions were dead on. Leo immediately took to the small dog – and she to him. Leo became Ellie’s eyes – guiding her and protecting her from any potential harm.
Funds to help Ellie regain her sight were raised by the RSCPA and she underwent a successful surgery. Landen was ecstatic for the little Spaniel.
But just one week after the surgery – one week after Ellie became able to guide herself safely through her world – Leo had to be euthanized.
A tumor was discovered in the senior dog and the difficult decision was made to have him put down. The joy for Ellie was tempered by the passing of her beloved guide, guardian and constant companion.
According to Landen, it was almost as if Leo kept himself going just long enough to ensure that his small friend would be ok. If you know a shepherd, that is probably the case.
Rest in Peace Leo.