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German Shepherd was blind spaniel's protector and seeing eye dog

Zoesnow_thumb By MissT | July 26, 2012 | Comments (16)

Leo was Ellie's seeing eye dog

When a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy was rescued by the Rochester RSPCA she was in bad shape. Ellie was raised in a home with no light or heating. She developed cataracts in both her eyes and could only see shadows. Julie Lander, a volunteer at the shelter decided to take Ellie home to care for her.  

"I felt so sorry for her when she arrived here and knew she'd need a special home. But I also knew she would be all right with Leo, as he just loves little dogs and they took to one another straight away," said Julie. Leo, Julie's 14-year-old German Shepherd cross dwarfed tiny Ellie. But the moment they met each other it was love. 

Leo became Ellie's champion and seeing eye dog. When the pair went for walks in the park, Leo guided Ellie around. He would protect her and herd away the more boisterous dogs to keep Ellie safe.

Leo was Ellie's seeing eye dog

Ellie followed Leo around and snuggled up to him whenever she became nervous or afraid and he would always protect her. Many months later, the RSPCA raised enough funds for Ellie to get surgery for her eyes, which restored her sight.

But tragically, a few days after her sight was restored, she lost her best pal to cancer. Leo was found to have a tumor and had to be put down. Although Julie was "over the moon" that Ellie could see, she was devastated to have lost Leo, who she described as "one in a million". 

Julie recalled, "Their relationship didn’t change when she got her sight back. They touched noses when Ellie came home and just curled up together. It was quite touching. It was almost as if he was here to make sure she was okay before he bowed out."

Leo was Ellie's seeing eye dog



via Manchester Evening News

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Comments on this Article

Made me cry. It's a sad but sweet story.
So what are you going to do, Kelli...sue? Get over yourself. This is a story about one dog caring about another. Maybe you should try following his example instead of looking for reasons to litigate...
Kelli...you're an idiot. Your comment about legal designtation of seeing eye dogs is literally the dumbest thing I've seen. Please go away, forever.
With all due respect, if one can only comment on the proper legality of the term "Seeing Eye Dog," instead of appreciating the loving nature of the article, than I think priorities need to be sorted out. This is a beautiful and very touching article.
What an extremely loving and gentle dog Leo was! God does make angels with fur!
If it is not from the Seeing Eye facility in New Jersey, then LEGALLY it CANNOT be called a Seeing Eye Dog!!!
I agree - this is a really wonderful story of the love between these two beautiful dogs. Leo was an angel in disguise, who cared for little Ellie until she was made whole. He will be waiting for her and for Julie at the Rainbow Bridge!
This IS a wonderful story.... the way "Leo" took "Ellie" under his wings was extremely loving and amazingly angelic!! They were "soul"mates.....! Remind yourself, Julie, that Leo is still watching over Ellie, and You, (if you believe this), and Ellie can still feel the prescence of Leo beside her!! You are very special Julie, to have so much love and understanding for your babies.... May God bless you always, Love you, Addie
fri july 27 '12 A VERY TOUCHING STORY!!! animals are so so smart & giving!!!!!!!! vancouver bc canada
Julie I know your pain in the loss over Leo. I lost my Butchie a little better than 3 years ago and I still feel the pain like it was yesterday. Some of them are just special that way. It is good that you have little Ellie with you now and she can find her way on her own, but I'm certain she is grieving Leo as much as you. They had that special relationship as well. Know that Leo is still watching over you both and is still walking beside you at the park and where ever you go. There are no restrictions anymore, and he will always be there. Your special love for him and the time you had together will always be the most important to him. He was an absolutely gorgeous dog. The grey of his age blended in with his natural colors. I’m certain when he was younger he was spectacular. Sorry, I tend to get carried away with GSD’s, they’re just such magnificent creatures. It’s little wonder we love them so much.
touching ...like Leo was her angel making sure she was ok .makes me sad He had to leave, but always know he is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you.
I agree, a happy but sad story. I hope you and Ellie are doing well. It is so hard to lose one of our 4-legged kids. I will ask my baby Toby in Heaven to greet your Leo so he will have someone to guide him around until he gets to know his way around. Take care.
This makes me happy and sad at the same time, but more happy knowing both Leo and Ellie shared love and a good home <3
Such a wonderful story but so sad too. It's almost like Leo waited 'til Ellie could see before he went across the Rainbow Bridge. One can see that little Ellie adored her "big brother". I hope she's OK now that her BF is not there. :0(
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