We all rely on our pets in one way or another. Whether it’s as a form of therapy, in terms of major healthcare advancements or simply because they make us feel good, the effect that they have on our lives is undeniable.
While for some of us the bond with our pets is a choice, for others it’s a dependency that they simply cannot live without…
In a move that will make him a “prisoner in [his] own home,” Derek Beal’s guide dog is being taken away because he is, according to officials, “too fat.”
Not only does Mr. Beal depend upon the dog, named Paddy, in almost every aspect of his life, he also describes him as his best friend and a “wonderful companion.”
Despite this, Guide Dogs for the Blind are taking drastic action by threatening to remove the eight year old Golden Retriever from the home. The move comes amid concerns that Paddy is being overfed, as his 82 year old owner cannot see what he is eating.
Mr. Beal, who is blind and deaf, has insisted that he doesn’t overfeed the dog, and that he is only “slightly” overweight as a result of the treats that passers-by often give him.
Speaking of the prospect of life without Paddy, Mr. Beal has said:
“They’ve offered me no help to get around and no replacement if they take him away.
I’m blind and nearly deaf – it’s brutal.
My son is my only living relative and he works away a lot so is seldom here – and he needs to work like everyone else.
I’ll be a prisoner in my own home. The dog is paramount to my whole life, to getting around.”
Mr. Beal suffers from Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that led to him losing his sight around 20 years ago. He has now expressed fears that removing the dog will take his life away, suggesting that he may not even be able to make it to his front door.
Whilst Guide Dogs for the Blind have not commented on this specific case, they have expressed that removing a guide dog from their owner would always be a last resort decision.
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