Time and time again, animals have proven their loyalty and willingness to aid people and be their companion. Guide dogs are perfect examples of such an amazing service. They do their job giving all their hearts and love for the ones they’re guiding. But what if a guide dog loses its ability to assist a person? What happens to it?
Graham Waspe was devastated when his guide dog, Edward, was unfortunately left blind when he developed cataracts, after six years of loyal service. But when his replacement, Opal, turned out to be a real gem, Waspe’s devastation turned to joy. Opal wasn’t only assisting his owner to perform everyday tasks but also aided Edward to get around from places.
With Opal taking Edward to all the places he frequently visits, the Waspes say the two dogs have got along very well since they met each other.
After he developed the inoperable problem, which resulted in him needing both eyes removed, Mr. Waspe of Stowmarket, Suffolk, received his new dog last November. As they tour the places they frequently visit, the two-year-old female dog has successfully stepped in where Edward left off. Edward is quite popular across the community groups and the schools of Suffolk.
On the other hand, Opal is also getting quite the recognition she deserves, as their owner gives talks about the Guide Dogs charity, which focuses on the incredible ways they help their owners and training for such amazing dogs.
A dog is not only a man’s best friend. A dog can also be a dog’s best friend. Pictured above, Graham Waspe cuddles with his trusty guide dog Opal (left) and Edward (right) at their house.
“Opal’s been great for both of us. I don’t know what we’d do without her,” Graham said. Sandra, 58, Graham’s wife, said that Edward still loved nothing more than to be around children and have his tummy tickled and receive lots of attention, despite the loss of his eyes.
Despite losing his eyesight and being retired for four months, there are no signs that show the amazing eight-year-old is slowing down.
Opal (right) now guides both Graham Waspe, who is registered blind, and his blind guide dog, Edward (left).
“We were both devastated and cried buckets on the night they told us they were going to remove his first eye. Graham said then, ‘Do you think he will ever be happy again?’ and then they said they would have to remove the second eye,” Sandra said. “He is still very popular, just as much, if not more than before. People ask lots of questions about how he copes, and he is probably more famous now because even more people stop to talk to him,” she added.
Both of the dogs got along fine when Opal arrived shortly after Edward retired, according to Sandra. “We got Opal on November 12 and she started training with Graham on the 16th and they were qualified in early December. Opal arrived far quicker than expected because, sadly, a couple of people in the Stowmarket area with fairly young guide dogs had died,” she said. Only one of his eyes has limited vision, following two separate incidents earlier in his life, and Mr. Waspe was able to cope without a guide dog until 2004.
The Waspes also run a local group and also do vital fundraising, as well as carrying out their school visits to raise awareness.