Tag: seeing eye dog
When a guide dog was struck by a hit-and-run driver in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay area residents responded with donations to cover the costs of her medical care.
Abbey, a two-year-old mixed breed, was off leash and playing in the yard of her legally blind owner when she apparently ran into the street and was struck by a car that sped away.
Her owner, Terry Ellrick, 59, was devastated.
“I just want them to have a merry Christmas and a happy Thanksgiving. That’s what I want because I can’t, and she can’t have her turkey either. So I hope it goes down good for them,” he told 10 News.
Ellrick could not give a description of the vehicle, and police said there were no witnesses.
Officers helped Abbey to the car of a friend of Ellrick’s, who drove her to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in North Tampa.
“Abbey is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing well and recovering from her surgery,” James Judge, a spokesman for the animal hospital told Tampa Bay Online.
Judge said to dog enough contributions had arrive by Thursday morning to cover the Wednesday surgery.
Those who still wish to donate can do so through Frankies Friends, which will use the money to help other families who can’t afford veterinary care.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is encouraged to call police at (727) 893-7780.
(Photo by Jim Hockett / Tampa Bay Online)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abbey, animals, blind, bluepearl, car, dog, dogs, donations, florida, frankies fund, guide dog, hit-and-run, injured, pets, seeing eye dog, st. petersburg, struck, surgery, tampa bay, terry elrick, veterinary
What happens when your seeing-eye dog’s eyes stop seeing?
Michael Nelson is in the process of finding out. His guide dog Molly has cataracts, and trading her in for a new model — in his opinion, at this point — is out of the question.
As columnist Scott Sexton explained in Sunday’s Winston-Salem Journal, Mike and Molly have a relationship that runs deeper than guided and guider — the yellow Lab, in addition to helping him get around for the last 10 years, has become his roommate and best friend.
A few months ago, while visiting with friends at Green Street United Methodist Church, someone pointed out to Mike that Molly appeared to have cataracts.
Mike, whose income is limited to a disability check, wasn’t sure where to turn. When news about the predicament spread, his friends at the YMCA, where he goes regularly to exercise while Molly patiently waits, got together and opened a bank fund in hopes of raising enough to cover the cost of Molly’s surgery.
Donations to it included proceeds from an elementary school art sale, and more from friends he has met in church and on outings with his dog at Hanes Park. The largest came from an unidentified man in California, who heard of the situation from a friend and sent a check.
Enough has been accumulated to cover the surgery and Molly’s other vet bills.
Her latest examination determined that, while she has cataracts, they’re not yet to the point of requiring surgery. She will need the operation eventually, though — and Mike is thankful he’ll now be able to afford it.
“It makes you feel really good to know there are people out there with that kind of heart,” Nelson said. “There is so much bad out there, so much ignorance about being visually impaired.”
Mike says that, over the years, he and Molly have run into their share of merchants who ask them to leave their shops. “Having people come to my assistance and Molly’s assistance has restored some of the confidence I’d lost in people. I’m truly thankful.”
Mike, now 51, moved to Winston-Salem from Virginia in the 1970s to attend Piedmont Bible College. He worked at the YMCA as a student, and up until 1991.
He went blind in 1998 as a result of what doctors would diagnose as polyarteritis nodosa (PAN), a rare auto-immune disease that weakens blood vessels and arteries. “It happened without any warning,” he said. “I just woke up and I was blind.”
Mike got Molly from The Seeing Eye organization, the oldest existing guide-dog school in the world, based in Morristown, N.J. Two earlier dogs they’d supplied didn’t work out — the first had allergies and the second wasn’t up to the task. The third time, though, was a charm. Molly had the skills, and the two had an instant connection.
Molly has the run of his apartment and an impressive collection of dog toys — though she prefers toilet tissue rolls. Nelson regularly takes her to Hanes Park, where romps with other dogs.
She consorts with humans, too, despite it being discouraged by guide dog experts. ”Molly is so good with people, so friendly,” he said, that it can’t be avoided.
All of which simply proves — at least in the case of Mike and Molly — that even dogs raised to serve as eyes have a way of getting into the heart.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, assistance, best friend, blind, blindness, bond, cataracts, connection, dogs, fund raising, green street united methodist church, guide dog, guiding, hanes park, help, labrador, losing sight, michael and molly, michael nelson, mike and molly, molly, north carolina, pets, polyarteritis nodosa, seeing eye dog, service, sight, support, surgery, the seeing eye, veterinarian, veterinary, winston-salem, ymca