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Monday, April 11, 2011

The blind dog who needs a new home... and he comes with his own guide dog

By Daily Mail Reporter

Leading the way: Zac, right, and his guide dog Lilli are looking for a new home

As dogs go he's cute, affectionate and is very loyal. But Zac the abandoned blind Jack Terrier is struggling to find new owners - because the pooch comes complete with his very own guide dog.

Staff at an animal charity are refusing to separate Zac from his canine pal Lilli, who guides him everywhere, and are insisting potential owners must take the dogs as a pair.

Zac had both of his eyes removed five years ago and he now relies on Lilli to get about, staying inches from her side when eating, drinking or while on walks.

When Zac gets tired or disorientated, Lilli even lets him rest his head on her.

According to staff at the Blue Cross centre in Tiverton, Devon, where the two dogs currently live, 10-year-old Zac is as outwardly capable as any other dog when he is with with pal.

However he is virtually completely dependent on Lilli, also 10, to get around and staff don't want to separate the two.

Inseparable: Zac, left, lost his eyes after an infection and now relies on fellow terrier Lilli to be his guide dog

The two dogs have been inseparable since they were both taken in as strays together a decade ago and in 2005 - when Zac lost his sight due to an infection - Lilli stepped in to act as his eyes.

When their previous owners moved abroad last month, the two dogs found themselves abandoned and they are now seeking a new home.

Sarah Russell, from Tiverton's Blue Cross centre, said: 'The pair simply have to be re-homed as a pair.

'They are totally inseparable and seem to have an almost telepathic understanding, which is quite amazing to see.

'Zak sniffs and smells Lilli and stays close to her so he can tell which way to go when they are out and about.

'She provides reassurance for him and actually physically guides him by nudging him in the right direction when he loses his way. Lilli stays by his side all the time and is very patient.

'She obviously knows he is different to the other dogs and is careful to walk round him and not knock into him too much.

'When he is off the lead they live together in the re-homing part of the shelter and they are really close.'

This is not the first time Zac has been in care as he was first taken in by the Blue Cross centre many years ago when he was a pup. However his devastated owner was forced to return him after she emigrated and couldn't take her beloved dogs with her.

The charity is hoping a nice family will take the pair in, where they can live a quiet life with a good routine.

Sarah added: 'Zac is a very affectionate chap and he enjoys attention. Because he can't see, his others senses are heightened and his little tail starts wagging as soon as you walk in.

'He is still a very happy dog and lives a fulfilled life.

Team terrier: Blue Cross workers Carly Jarman and Rachel Sirdefield with Zac and Lilli. Staff say the two dogs share a 'telepathic understanding'

'His new owner would need to be aware not to move things around so that Zac can have a clear route around the house and he'd need to be on a lead when he goes on walks.

'In return Zac and Lilli would be such a rewarding companions and give lots of affection to whoever adopts them.'



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