Blind calf finds friendship with dog in central Alberta

Heaven and Sweetpea are best buddies.

Heaven, a calf that was born blind, came into Saving Grace Animal Society’s care in Alix in late April.

She was born in northern Alberta and was about to be disposed of when a woman stepped in to help the calf out. The woman transferred Heaven to the central Alberta’s rescue facility to care for her.

Heaven also has some muscle damage in the front end of her body.

Saving Grace executive director Erin Deems said with about a month of rehabilitation, Heaven will be back to normal, other than being blind. During this time, staff are helping the calf walk around the sanctuary’s backyard, where she lives.

“We’re helping her use her nose to find out where she is,” said Deems.

“We keep her in the backyard, not in the front yard, so she is a bit safer.”

Keeping her company in the backyard is Sweetpea, a rescue dog from a fighting ring, who has been with Saving Grace for about two years and is the society’s ambassador dog.

The two quickly became friends and are often seen spending time together.

“We believe she (Sweetpea) gives other animals that come into our care hope, and she lets them know ‘you’re lucky, you just got here, these people are pretty great.’

“So we really enjoy watching them hang out in the backyard and sniffing each other, walking around.

“It’s been a great friendship to watch,” said Deems.

It is normal for farm animals to be adopted out. But that won’t happen for Heaven.

“The more you bounce around a blind animal, the harder it’ll be for them to get their bearings. Just given her circumstances, she will stay at the sanctuary for the lifetime,” Deems said.

The calf needs a pen to protect her from the sun and keep her safe. She also needs hay, milk replacement and supplements. Deems said the society is looking at a cost of about $1,500.

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