Manchester Photographer, Jonathan Pow

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Blind Great Dane Lily with own guide dog, Madison

Blind dog to be rehomed with own guide dog by Jonathan Pow.

CREDIT – Jonathan Pow / and guide Great Dane dogs Lily (white) and Madison (grey) at Dogs Trust, Shrewsbury. Lily, 6, lost her sight at 18 months after her eyes became severely damaged by entropion (a condition where eyelashes turn into the eye). Her inseparable buddy Madison has been helping Lily for the past five and a half year. The pair are to be rehomed together.

For those who like their dogs big and in pairs then the odd coupling of a blind Great Dane with her own sidekick guide dog could be for you.

Adorable Lily has been almost joined at the hip with best friend Maddison for the past five-and-a-half years since poor Lily was left completely without eyes.

The six-year-old was only 18-months-old when she lost her sight after suffering from entropion. The lovable canine’s eyelashes had grown into her eyeballs, which became so damaged that they had to be removed.

But due to the very special relationship she has with Maddison, seven, she has lost none of the quality of life. But as the couple can’t be split up, they are desperately searching for a loving new home which can take them on.

The best buds lived together for many years until, sadly, their owners couldn’t look after them anymore, and they have both been wating anxiously at the Dogs Trust in Shrewsbury, Shrops., since July.

Centre manager Louise Campbell said about Maddison’s relationship with Lily: “I would say she is her guide dog, she is a support method to her.

“If they are out and about, for the majority of the time Maddison will lead and Lily will walk nearly touching her so she knows where to go, acting like Maddison is her guide dog.

“It’s like people, they rely on each other.

“With her lack of sight, Lily’s other senses have heightened so although we don’t split them up often she can tell if Maddison is nearby.

“They curl up together to go to sleep and they are very vocal with each other. We haven’t analysed their different barks but if Lily wants to go forward and Maddison is in her way the bark will have a different pitch.

“We think what are they barking at but they are just barking at each other. They are very close to one another, they do enjoy each other’s company.”

Louise, 39, said that Lily does all the things normal dogs do and if you saw her from a distance you wouldn’t realise she had anything wrong with her eyes.

She runs about off the lead, in areas she knows, but you have to be carefull that she is in a situation were she can hurt herself.

Although very well-behaved the best mates have had one argument while at the centre – over toys, and now they only have toys outside.

Describing the pair Louise added: “They are really happy with life, the glass is always half full with these two. They have been with us for a considerable amount of time but they are quite happy and go about their daily routine – they are very affectionate.”

She thinks the dogs’ size and advancing years, as well as the fact they come in a pair, may have put off potential owners but she warned that anyone contemplating taking the dogs in should look at their lifestyle and think of the responsibility involved.

“They are not gigantic when you see them outside. These are two lovely big girls who deserve to live out the rest of their lives together in comfort,” said Louise.

dogs trust is the uk’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for around 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year through a network of 17 rehoming centres.

Anyone interested in rehoming Lily and Maddison can contact Dogs Trust Shrewsbury on 01952 770225 or visit for further information

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2 Responses to “Blind Great Dane Lily with own guide dog, Madison”

  1. Bonnie says:

    Dear Mr. Pow,

    Warning, I’m kind of corny but I can’t help myself.

    I can’t remember who sent it to me…but the pictures and the story of the two great danes is so
    precious. Your pictures are beautiful. They truly reflect the friendship and caring between the
    two dogs. I keep them on my desktop and my refrigerator. Thank you. I will cherish these pictures


    Bonnie Bates

  2. tammy says:


    I found these posted on pinterest yesterday and followed your watermark to learn about you and more on the dogs’ story.

    Bittersweet. I hope they found a home.

    Your pictures of the dogs are poignant and have gotten many comments. I am working on getting your link on my pin of your pictures. There is a problem doing that at the moment…spam alert.

    North Manchester, Indiana USA

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