Friday, October 29, 2010

Meet Jack, the sheepdog that was so good no one knew he was blind


Superdog: Despite his blindness Jack was so good at herding sheep that he won the hearts of the family, who have now kept him as a pet

It's only fair to make allowances for a newcomer.

So when their new sheepdog missed rounding up the occasional ewe, farmers Barry and Liz Edwards put it down to inexperience and gave him a bit of extra training.

After all, their new recruit was a willing learner, had settled well into the farm and won the hearts of the family.

Unknown to them, it was amazing that Jack was doing any work at all. The four-year-old sheepdog was blind – a fact the Edwards only discovered when he ran straight into a wooden peg sticking out of the ground.

A check-up with the vet confirmed Jack had lost vision in both eyes. It changed their view of him from a trainee with a few teething problems to undisputed superdog.

Read more:
'An inspiration': Owner Liz Edwards says that Jack carried on as if nothing had happened

‘He is such an inspiration,’ said Mrs Edwards, who has 150 breeding ewes and 100 cows on the family’s farm at Warmington, Cheshire.

‘This dog goes blind and yet he has carried on as if nothing has happened. He must have had our farm mapped out in his head. He knows exactly where everything is.’

The Edwards bought Jack for £1,250 from a farmer and sheepdog trainer in March last year.

In hindsight, they believe he was probably going blind when he was being trained. Certainly the trainer had no idea he had problems with his vision. Jack is believed to have lost his eyesight because of a disease he picked up from something he ate.

When he arrived on the farm at lambing time he wasn’t required to herd sheep immediately and was ‘given time to settle in’.

There were a few incidents, such as when he failed to move out the way of a flailing cow and injured his back leg. But the family thought nothing of them.
Now Jack, who is taking part in the Drontal pet competition, has been retired and is being kept simply as a pet.

‘He has a great quality of life,’ Mrs Edwards said. ‘He can chase and fetch a ball, as long as it makes a noise and he still occasionally rounds the sheep up. He really is incredible.’

source :dailymail

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