Blind, goofy sled dog gets back to work

JIM COLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS - Poncho, left, helps his blind brother, Gonzo, pull sleds at the Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in New Hampshire.

When Gonzo started tripping over his food dish three years ago, no one could explain why the Alaskan husky was suddenly going blind. But a veterinarian offered simple advice: “Run this dog.”

Gonzo, one of 120 dogs at Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel, was happy about that. With help from his brother Poncho, he soon resumed his place pulling a sled all over New Hampshire, delighting tourists and caretakers. They decided that if Gonzo’s blindness didn’t bother him, it shouldn’t bother them.

(Jim Cole/ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Ben Morehouse guides a team of sled dogs, including a blind dog Gonzo and his brother Poncho through a field below the Presidential Range in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

When Gonzo went blind, Poncho started helping his brother. “There’s definitely a bond there and communication,” kennel manager Ben Morehouse said.

“Gonzo and Poncho are not the most efficient sled dogs out there. They won’t set a speed record; they won’t pull the most you’ve ever seen,” Morehouse said. “To be honest, they’re probably some of the goofiest dogs you can put in harness. But they’re just fun.”

 
Read what others are saying