Buddy herding his sheep.
|This is my dog Buddy. He is a pure-bred Lilac Border Collie one
of two Lilacs in his litter. At only 3 weeks old he became very sick, his coat felt wiry
compared to his soft and fluffy littermates coats and I insisted to his owner that he needed
medical attention. We took him to the vet who gave him a 50% chance of survival.
At the same time we were told that he had "small eyes", no pupil in the left and limited vision in
the right, both Lilac pups had small eyes but only Buddy was blind the other pup had perfect
vision. I took him home with a course of antibiotics and put him on 4 hourly feeds with his meds in
the hope that I could save him. It was like having a new born baby all over again, every 4 hours I
would get up, prepare his food and meds and then go to his little bed and say to him "OK Buddy
dinner time" he would immediately get up, tail wagging and very happy to see me, that is where he
got his name.
Many people advised me to put him down - they told me a blind dog wasn't good for anything and
would be a burden but I told them that I would find something he could do. This gave me the
determination to try everything. He is now 18mths old and we have been doing Obedience Training - a
slow progress but progress at any rate, we are currently preparing for our first trial. We have
been doing some Agility Training and so far he is loving it, he does most of the obstacles OK but
he needs constant encouragement to get his confidence up but once he is confident he does the
obstacle with ease over and over again.
We recently started doing Sheep Herding with both his Mum and Dad. His Mum and Dad are only one
step in front of us and he is working those Sheep like he was a full vision dog. He gets plenty of
practice at home. His parents like to chase a ball in the backyard, when we throw the ball Buddy
drops and waits until one of the other dogs gets the ball and drops and that's when Buddy goes to
work running around the dogs with the ball. I have now introduced commands to him while he is doing
this and he is getting so much practice for sheep herding I expect he will overtake his
We have a long way to go as yet, he has been showing signs of Working Dog Hypoglycaemia having had
a couple of small seizures and is on a special diet, I have to carry Jelly Beans with me as well as
some syringes to take a blood sample next seizure he has to confirm this. I considered doing
Tracking with him however I have ruled this out because he does get frightened by trees
occasionally and he does still run into the occasional bush when we are out walking. At the end of
the day we are having fun, he is a wonderful and obedient companion and will be soon joined by his
step-brothers and sister until they find their new homes. Never let anyone tell you a blind dog is
good for nothing - Buddy is loved by everyone who comes in contact with him.