The guide dog gone blind without his master knowing
A loyal and steadfast guide dog who was slowly losing his sight did not let his own blindness stop him from doing his duty.
The remarkable story is recalled in a heartwarming image from the Daily Mirror’s archives, showing Abel continuing his work.
The Golden Labrador and his owner Ken Williams were regularly seen commuting from their home on the outskirts of Cardiff to the city center in the mid-1970s. Reports of the team dogs.
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But unbeknownst to Ken, seven-year-old Abel was also losing his sight.
Sometimes Ken would notice that Abel seemed to be a little late to avoid the other people on the sidewalk of their well-known route, but he never suspected the truth.
Every day, without fail, rain or shine, Abel guided Ken safely from his home to his work, a journey that involved crossing three side roads and one main road to a train station where they took a train.
Once Abel’s condition was discovered, the Association of Guide Dogs for the Blind – now known as Guide Dogs – arranged for a replacement – Gay, a two-year-old black Labrador.
But Ken wasn’t ready to give up on Abel entirely after his medical retirement, so while Gay took care of the regular trips to the office, the trio took a walk after work with Ken and Abel led by Gay.
The Daily Mirror photographed Gay in his guide dog harness leading Ken and Abel through a street in 1974.