By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 12:43, 11 October 2010
[This is an old story but a great, economical idea to help blind dogs navigate their way around obstacles.]
A blind dog can ‘see’ again after being fitted with a set of extra whiskers.
Dolly, a Staffordshire bull terrier, lost her sight after developing cataracts brought on by diabetes.
She was left completely blind and would regularly walk into things.
That was until her vet Joanne McCelland pioneered an innovative idea to fit extra long cable ties to the ten-year-old dog’s collar.
Innovative: Blind Dolly wears plastic ‘whiskers’ on her collar so she can feel her way around without walking into objects
The plastic ties help Dolly feel her way around without walking into objects, in much the same way that her natural whiskers do.
Owner Brian Chadwick, from Arnold, Nottinghamshire, claimed the plastic whiskers have helped Dolly recapture her life.
He said: ‘We could deal with her diabetes, but when she went blind I felt really helpless.
‘The effect of the whiskers was almost immediate. Within a few hours she had learnt how to feel her way around the house with her new plastic whiskers.’
Dolly has lived with Mr Chadwick since she was a puppy.
Over time she has become less dependent on the collar – although she still wears it when she is out and about.
Proud: Owner Brian Chadwick claims the plastic whiskers have helped Dolly recapture her life
Mr Chadwick added: ‘The special collar has become quite a talking point in our local park.
‘I still can’t believe something so simple has helped Dolly so much.’
Vet Ms McCelland has praised the progress Dolly has made.
She said: ‘She wore them a lot at first but doesn’t wear them quite as much now. She has developed a better understanding of the layout of her home.’
Dolly was treated at the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Pet Aid Hospital in Nottingham where her treatment has turned her into a celebrity.
PDSA spokeswoman Emily Malcolm said: ‘Dolly has become an icon for the PDSA and has featured in our magazine and leaflets.’
But Mr Chadwick is just relieved that his companion has retained all her personality thanks to the treatment.
He said: ‘Dolly is a wonderful and loyal companion and rarely leaves my side.
‘Even though she’s blind, she lives life to the full and is as fun-loving and as lively as ever.’