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A Blind Horse with a Seeing-Eye Camel

Meet Dolly and Caesar, an unlikely pair of friends who reside in a small town in Maine.

By Leslie Potter | December 8, 2016

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Pony X-Press is a traveling zoo headquartered in the Central Maine town of Winslow. This time of year, they’re busy bringing reindeer and friends to various holiday events around the state. But as their name suggests, many of the zoo’s residents are equine.

One longtime member of the Pony X-Press menagerie is Dolly, a horse who appears to have Appaloosa heritage. In recent years, Dolly has made an unlikely friend at the farm. Caesar is a five-year-old camel, and one of the stars of the show at the zoo; there aren’t too many camels who call Maine home. Caesar had trouble fitting in at first.

"We tried putting alpacas in with him,” zoo owner Ed Papsis told WGME. "That didn’t work out. He’s too big. We put the horse [Dolly] in, and she just kind of bonded with him, and he bonded with her.”

The companionable relationship became important as Dolly’s eyesight deteriorated.

"It worked out good because as she went blind, she relies on him,” said Papsis. "She’ll follow him around. If we take him out to bring him somewhere, she’s always whinnying for him and he’s bellowing back for her.”

Horses can typically adapt to blindness as they will learn to rely on hearing and other senses to make up for the lost eyesight. But having a companion as a guide—whether that’s another horse or a friend of a different species—is often helpful. (Click here to watch the touching story of an aging goat who took care of an elderly, blind horse for years.) Generally, blind horses do best if they're kept in a controlled, consistent environment so they can learn their surroundings. With the right care and precautions, some blind horses can even continue to be ridden.

Click here for more information on caring for a blind horse.

Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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A Blind Horse with a Seeing-Eye Camel

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Reader Comments

pam    f, HI

1/5/2017 7:20:35 PM

great story!

Tristan    DeT, TX

1/2/2017 8:13:56 AM

Great that these two will help each other...people can learn from this.

cc    Colmbus, OH

12/30/2016 6:08:08 AM

Good happy ending.

Gee and Haw    North, CA

12/23/2016 6:34:45 AM

Very nice story.

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