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Love is blind: Alaskan husky sled dog helps blind brother lead the pack

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2013

Poncho and his brother Gonzo are two of 120 dogs at Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in New Hampshire. The Alaskan huskies have inspired the community, teaching humans just how strong familial bonds and a little determination can be in overcoming life's obstacles.

In a sport where synchronization is the key to success, Gonzo is at a distinct disadvantage — he's blind. Luckily, his handlers took the advice of a veterinarian with a positive attitude, who encouraged them to keep the dog running.

The decision paid off - Poncho helps his brother in the rare instances when his other senses fail to
compensate for blindness.

Poncho gently nudges and bumps his brother on the trail when necessary. The two have worked out an elaborate set of silent cues that allow them to perform in ways that baffle onlookers.

"Even though he's blind, he still knows when hook-ups are happening. He's still very aware," kennel manager Ben Morehouse told the Associated Press.

"When you have a dog such as Gonzo, with such a want and a drive and a desire ... you try it, you hook up, you see what happens. ... There's definitely a bond there and communication beyond what we do with the two dogs, between the two of them themselves."

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