- Lucky was born blind and so kept bumping into things
- Dad Scruff saw the trouble and stepped in to help him
- He guides son around and comforts him if he bumps into things
- Scruffy has no training and picked up everything by instinct
By Chris Pleasance
PUBLISHED: 17:45, 10 February 2014 | UPDATED: 19:13, 10 February 2014
A blind Border Terrier has formed an inseparable bond with his father who helps him live life to the full by acting as his guide dog.
Two-year-old Lucky was born without retinas and has never been able to see.
However his father Scruff, aged three, noticed his son was often in difficulty and stepped in to help, guiding him out of harm’s way and comforting him if he bumped into things.
Jim Leonard, 65, who often looks after the pet for his granddaughter Chelsea,14, said: ‘Lucky was blind from birth and it seemed that he was always running or knocking into something and hurting himself. We were really worried about how he was going to cope.
‘But we started to take Lucky and Scruff on walks together and it was amazing to see Scruff starting to take charge, looking after Lucky and checking he was okay.’
He added: ‘It is unbelievable the bond that they have. If Lucky walks into something and yelps Scruff is back like a shot licking him in the face. It is marvellous to see, a treat to watch.’
Vet charity PDSA also gave the family suggestions on how to help Lucky cope with his disability around the home.
Following discussions with PDSA vets Mr Leonard wears bells at the bottom of his trousers to let Lucky know where he is.
The also put strong smelling scents like lemon or lime in parts of the room where there are dangers so that he knows not to go there.
Mr Leonard, from Glasgow, said that Lucky does not let his blindness hold him back.
He said: ‘He lives life to the full. He has a great sense of smell, he can smell things from so far away, he must be compensating for having no eyes. He loves getting petted and made attention of.
‘He is adorable, he is a wee cutie.’
PDSA senior vet Elaine Pendlebury said the bond between Lucky and his father is a reminder of how dogs continually surprise us with their character and abilities.
She said: ‘Dogs can behave in a unique and extraordinary way. They’re extremely social animals and can help both pets and people in ways that never fail to amaze.
‘It’s inspiring to us all that Scruff acts as a guide dog to his canine companion and how he looks after his son to the best of his ability.
‘It’s nice to see that all of Lucky’s family – both owner and fellow dog – are working together to make sure that he can live life to the full.’
The charity said that while blindness in pets can be challenging for owners, with the right support it is possible to help pets adapt well to their surroundings.
If a dog has a problem with their sight, vets can discuss treatment options and offer support and guidance in dealing with the condition.
The PDSA said that sight is not the primary sense in all pets. Dogs have an extremely well-developed sense of smell which can be up to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s, depending on the breed.