By The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014, 2:54 p.m.
Updated 14 hours ago
DELAWARE, Ohio — He sticks close by when the two go for walks. He alerts his companion when strangers are coming. Sometimes, he helps him find food and water.
Otis is no ordinary guide dog, though: His partner, Bandit, is a Shih Tzu.
Together, the dogs are settling into a new home with Chester Workman and his girlfriend, who adopted the pair in March from the Humane Society of Delaware County.
“I was going to adopt them myself,” said shelter director Heidi Myers. “I’m happy that they found another home.”
Workman and his girlfriend, Kay Powelson, are glad, too.
Their three-bedroom home is not far from the shelter, and Workman often stops by to see the dogs and donate food.
The couple decided to adopt Otis and Bandit after Workman met them. “Bandit looked up at me in the cage and couldn’t see me,” he recalled. “It just hit me. I said, ‘You’re coming home.’ “
How long Bandit has been blind is unclear.
He arrived at the society unable to see, his eyes dry and irritated.
“After consulting with two different vets, the decision was made to remove his eyes to ease the pain,” said Carol Girberd, grant coordinator at the society.
Bandit seems pain-free now, with fur growing over his eye area.
Workman and Powelson took their two other dogs to meet Otis and Bandit.
The dogs sniffed one another and approved.
Now, they lie together and play together.
“You can sit down and watch four tails and eight eyes,” said Workman, pausing to correct himself: “Six eyes.”