A border collie named Dave “never puts a foot wrong” and can even navigate around puddles despite his blindness, leaving vets completely baffled by his condition.
A top UK vet has declared Dave a “medical mystery” after confirming that the dog is fully blind.
Owner Jane Downes, 69, from Waterbeach, Cambs, said that her pet dog—who is believed to be between 5 and 7 years old—always comes when called and happily plays with other dogs despite his retinas being completely undeveloped. Jane and her husband, Mick, 78, said that Dave lives a happy and full life.
“No one’s got any answers. It’s just a conundrum,” Said Jane, who’d owned Dave for almost a year before making the discovery.
“It’s just really strange. He’s a blind dog that can see. Maybe it’s a sixth sense, who knows? He had everyone fooled—even me as his owner, I was fooled for nine months.”
Jane bought Dave from an animal rescue center in February 2020, when no issues were raised regarding his sight, even after a checkup at the local vet.
She said: “He jumped into the back of the car and I brought him home.
“A couple of people said he had funny eyes but I just thought he’s got beautiful eyes.
“On a couple of occasions, he walked into things, but I put that down to him being a sheepdog who more than likely lived in a barn rather than a house. He wouldn’t put a foot wrong. He would come back when you called him.”
But in December last year, Dave stumbled over a step at a pet shop in Cambridge, where the owner suggested to Jane that her dog might be blind. She took Dave to a specialist vet, where they finally discovered that he was totally blind and his retinas had never developed, meaning he was sightless from birth.
Jane then called on the help of a top veterinary ophthalmologist, Cambridge University’s David Williams, who organized two obstacle course challenges for Dave and a retina test, which confirmed the diagnosis.
He told a local newspaper: “I see a lot of blind dogs and they all bump into objects in a way that Dave didn’t—so at present he is a medical mystery. Just because I’ve been doing this for 33 years, it doesn’t mean I’ve seen everything, and this I can’t explain. In life you like to think you know everything, but that’s not always the case.”
Dave now enjoys running around at home with his new canine brother, Sammy, a 2-year-old border collie, who joined the family in October last year.
Jane said: “He goes straight to his food. He chases other dogs around even though he can’t see them.
“He can jump into the boot of my car. He walks around puddles.
“On the very rare occasion, he walks into something he just shrugs it off and carries on.”
Dave’s only limit is his fear of going into the sea, but Jane doesn’t know if this is due to his blindness or a possible traumatic experience as a puppy.
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.