A new lease of life: Meet Xander, the blind pug who now helps victims of child abuse


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The Independent Online

A blind pug abandoned by his owners when he was 10 months old has been given a new lease of life as a therapy dog.

Xander, now two years old, suffered a head injury when he was a puppy that resulted in both of his eyes being removed and long-standing respiratory issues that make it hard for him to sleep sleep.

But, after being taken in by Klamath Animal shelter in Oregon, USA, it wasn't long before his luck began to turn and two volunteers at the shelter, Marcie and Rodney Breedy, decided to adopt him as their own.

They quickly realised that, while he might not have the looks, Xander possessed an infectious personality that raised the spirits of those he came into contact with. The Breedys enrolled him in an American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen programme and, within three weeks, he became an accredited therapy dog.

"I began using my other senses, the love in my heart and my many blessings to brighten the days of everyone that I met," Xander writes on his own webpage.

Xander even has his own Facebook page, on which his owners explain that his mission "is to stop violence" but also provide a comforting figure for those who need his help. He often works with victims of child abuse and spousal abuse. 

"A lot of times he'll hear a child crying at an event and he's bolted several times, at least 500 feet over to this child to comfort them," Mr Breedy told Buzzfeed. "We got a call to go up to the hospital for this one lady who was terminally ill. We didn't know how long she had. My wife agreed to go up there every day after work for an hour, hour and a half.

"[The patient] went and played with his face. Xander would kiss her whenever she would cough. [Her] last few days, my wife continued to go up there with Xander.

"He's amazing in that his blindness does not affect his ability to do his work."