Blind dog who was almost put down becomes ‘lifeline’ to woman with one eye

A blind rescue dog has defied all expectations after escaping euthanasia and has gone on to impact the lives of people across the nation. Scout the 12-year-old lurcher has won numerous awards for his bravery and kindness, and has now been crowned Companion of the Year in the Petplan Pet Awards for his influence on Donna Hendrie, 56, who recently lost her eye.

Scout’s owner, Tracey Ison, 52, nominated her beloved pooch for the award after he became a “lifeline” to her sister, Donna. Tracey told the Mirror : “When Donna had her prosthetic eye fitted, she lost her confidence and was nervous about wearing an eyepatch. Scout gave her back her zest for life and showed her that being different doesn’t stop you from living.”

Tracey had no experience of owning a blind dog before Scout, but couldn’t help falling for his lovable personality at East Midlands Dog Rescue in 2011.

The retired veterinary nurse opened her heart and home to Scout, who was almost put to sleep due to his disability, but says his blindness hasn’t ever been an obstacle.

“He just gets on with life and it’s so incredibly inspiring. He is very in tune and can work out pavements. It’s very rare anyone recognises that he’s blind,” Tracey explained.

Tracey has altered her life to support Scout, including teaching him basic commands to avoid hazards, not opening internal doors or moving her furniture around.

“If we take him into a new room, he can work out the dimensions and jump on and off sofas and walk up and down stairs. It’s remarkable,” she said.

The lovable lurcher has had heart failure for four years and Tracey’s family count each day as a blessing.

He’s not expected to make it longer than 12 months, but the impact he’s had in his 12-year lifetime has been “more than enough”.

“He is the bravest dog and a little ray of sunshine. He makes you laugh and smile but will also just be there if you’re struggling,” Tracey said.

“People fall for him instantly and he’s touched the lives of strangers in ways I’ve never seen.”

Following the loss of his own eye, his presence helped Donna “feel 10 feet tall”, and he was the first one to get her out of the house after her operation.

“He’s not just my companion, he’s offered friendships to so many people. His whole life has been about giving back,” Tracey said.

Scout has worked as a therapy dog, ran dog shows and meet and greets, been to Crufts, supported anti-puppy farming campaigns and launched charity foundations.

His claim to fame was starring on BBC One’s ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ in 2020.

“When we first adopted him, we were told that he wouldn’t live for long and we promised to give him the best life possible,” Tracey said.

“But he’s lived a million and one lives. When he does go, I’ll know that we’ve served him well.”

Scout will leave behind a huge legacy and Tracey hopes he’s inspired other dog lovers to rehome unwanted pups with disabilities.

“They can bring so much into your home and teach you so many lessons,” Tracey added.

” Dogs like Scout are at the bottom of the wanted list, but he doesn’t know he’s got issues and we could all learn a thing or two from him.”

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