Guide dog loses eyes, keeps active

March 11, 2011 at 4:00 AM

STOWMARKET, England, March 11 (UPI) -- A British man said his guide dog was forced into retirement by the removal of both his eyes but remains active and a popular fixture in their town.

Graham Waspe, 60, of Stowmarket, England, and his wife, Sandra, said they were devastated when Edward, a guide dog they received four years ago to help Graham Waspe, who only has limited use of a single eye, developed inoperable cataracts last summer and veterinarians had to remove both of his eyes, the East Anglican Daily Times reported Thursday.

"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 Waspe 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."

The couple said Graham and Edward now get around town with the help of Opal, a guide dog they obtained shortly after Edward's retirement.

"We got Opal on November 12 and she started training with Graham on the 16th and they were qualified in early December," Sandra Waspe said.

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