Russell Davidson with blind cattle dog Jemma at Deborah Bay
yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
A rescued blind cattle dog will see out her final years
Russell Davidson said Jemma, a 9-year-old Australian cattle
dog, had her first day in her new home at Deborah Bay
He decided to adopt Jemma from Dunedin Dog Rescue after
reading about her plight in the Otago Daily Times.
The unwanted dog had been living with foster carer Aimee Ward
since June, but as she was leaving New Zealand on an extended
holiday next month, the search for a permanent home had
To improve Jemma's chance of adoption, $2600 was raised for
her to have cataract surgery in Christchurch. But when she
arrived for the operation, it was discovered the procedure
was not suitable for her eyes and Jemma would remain blind.
Mr Davidson said the idea of owning a blind dog appealed.
''I'm a physiotherapist and I've had a few colleagues that
are blind and they've all had guide dogs, so when I read
about the blind dog, I thought maybe we could do the opposite
and reverse the trend.''
Jemma had quickly learnt where the furniture was in the house
and was learning the ''lie of the land'' of the backyard.
Extra fencing had been installed to stop her falling into the
creek that flowed down one side of the property.
Mr Davidson's wife, Rod Eales, said a short leash was often
needed to stop Jemma falling into Deborah Bay.
Ms Eales said she was petrified of dogs but she had warmed to
''Russell chose well. She doesn't bark, she doesn't jump, she
doesn't chase, she doesn't demand. She's cuddly and really
The only drawback was not being able to move the furniture.
''Everything has to be the same or else she'll knock into