A blind dog that helped save a girl from drowning suffers from a genetic disease that cannot be cured with surgery, a veterinarian said Tuesday.
The yellow Labrador retriever, named Norman, plunged into the Necanicum River on the north Oregon coast early this month to save a 14-year-old Washington state girl.
But nothing can be done to restore the dog’s vision, said Dr. Grant Maurer, a veterinary surgeon at the Animal Eye Clinic in Portland.
“It’s not painful, it doesn’t hurt. It’s like someone turned out the lights,” Maurer said.
“But his quality of life is excellent.”
Maurer examined the dog Tuesday after the clinic offered to treat Norman for free.
Jeff Nibley of Battle Ground, Wash., the father of the girl Norman rescued, was at the clinic Monday with his wife, Elaine.
The couple said they were saddened to learn nothing could be done to help the dog see, but they are forever grateful for the rescue.
“Being blind hasn’t hindered whatever he wants to do - and save a little girl’s life on top of that,” Jeff Nibley said.
Nibley had tried to raise money for surgery to help Norman.
Any donations will be passed along to animal shelters.
Norman was rescued from a dog pound by Annette and Steve McDonald of Seaside.
The McDonalds said that Norman, who turns 4 in October, began having trouble seeing at night and completely lost his sight about a year ago.
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