When the Great Dane named Lily lost her sight, a dim future loomed ahead. But an unexpected savior emerged in the form of her partner, Madison, who swiftly assumed the role of “Guide Dog for a Blind Dog.” With Madison by her side, Lily appeared like any other ordinary dog.
Lily celebrated her sixth birthday in 2011. Due to irreparable damage from Trichiasis during her earlier years, she had to rely on others for guidance. That’s when 7-year-old Madison stepped in as her helper.
Manager of the adoption center, Louise Campbell, commented on Madison’s innate abilities: “Even though Madison lacks formal training, when she guides Lily, it’s as though she’s a seasoned guide dog for the blind. Madison maintains close proximity to Lily, maintaining body contact to guide her.” Campbell added, “Despite Lily’s loss of sight, her heightened senses help her perceive Madison’s presence even without vision.”
The large size of Great Danes made them financially challenging for Lily and Madison’s original owner. Both dogs ended up at the pet adoption center, awaiting adoption. However, the “Two as One” adoption requirement deterred many prospective owners. Campbell emphasized the importance of considering the responsibilities that accompany adopting this special pair.
Following Lily’s surgery to remove her eyes, Madison assumed the role of devoted guide for the courageous Lily. Their bond was unbreakable. Outdoors, Madison meticulously shadowed Lily’s movements, reminiscent of sisters bound by blood. Madison acted as Lily’s eyes, and Lily entrusted her life to Madison. They rarely strayed from each other’s side, their connection seemingly allowing communication through mere presence.
Despite Lily’s blindness, her resilient spirit embraced and adapted to the darkness. She fearlessly engaged with the world, never shunning it due to her lack of sight. While stumbling over small rocks due to her impaired vision, Lily swiftly adjusted to her surroundings at the adoption center. During outdoor excursions, she immersed herself in the sensory experience, occasionally bursting into sprints. Meanwhile, Madison vigilantly kept an eye out for Lily, often turning around in concern.
Commonly known as “Kind Giants,” Great Danes possess gentle personalities despite their imposing size. The adoption center expressed hope for someone to adopt the inseparable duo. Although Lily had lost her sight, her need for exercise remained, with Madison serving as her second set of eyes. The center held optimism that this extraordinary friendship would continue indefinitely, and that a new home awaited them.
Separation Through Adoption
The six-year-old Lily and her companion, another Great Dane named Maddison, were rehomed together after an appeal by the Dogs Trust. Anne and Len Williams from Nantwich, Cheshire, adopted them but later returned them to the charity’s location at Roden near Shrewsbury.
Maddison’s owners will keep her, but Lily remains at the dogs’ home due to their inability to coexist. Charlotte Speedy from the Dogs Trust explained that the decision to separate them was made after extensive attempts to reintroduce them, as their relationship had changed in the new environment.
Lily’s aggressive behavior towards Maddison likely stemmed from her blindness, causing her to react differently. The move to kennels with Maddison would have been relatively easy for Lily due to her familiarity with the kennel environment. Despite efforts to reconcile them, the distress they experienced in each other’s company led to the decision to rehome them separately, prioritizing their safety and well-being.
Originally, Lily and Maddison had gotten along well in a kennel environment, leading to a joint rehoming appeal. However, Lily’s changed behavior in a home environment prompted the need for separate homes. Due to the nature of the attack on Maddison in their shared home, the Dogs Trust prioritized the safety of both dogs and the families who adopted them.
They were eventually separated on November 17, 2011.
The outcome following their separation remained largely unknown, even as efforts were made to reunite the friends at the dog shelter. A Facebook page titled “Reunite Lilly and Madison” was created to support this cause.
After an intensive search, an update was found on a blog called dogstrustblog.blogspot.in, which reported on Lily and Maddison’s new lives. Lily’s new owners reported that she had settled in well, enjoying walks and playing with her toys. Maddison’s owners sent a Christmas card to Dogs Trust Shrewsbury, indicating her happiness and enjoyment in her new family.
Both Lily and Maddison found homes that provided them with the care and attention they needed. The Dogs Trust expressed gratitude towards the owners for their commitment, wishing them the best in the future.