A WOMAN living with MS has revealed how her rescue dog has transformed her life, describing how the canine companion has learnt how to warn her when a muscle attack is near.

Seven-year-old greyhound ‘Bleu’ was rehomed from Blue Cross in Thirsk after she was admitted as a retired racing dog.

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She was soon spotted by Amy Johnson of Leeds who had been looking for a dog after ownership was recommended by her therapist.

Amy has multiple sclerosis (MS) and was struggling with her mental health and depression.

She said: “It got to the point that I was just like: ‘I can't do this anymore’.

"And I just needed something to keep me getting up each day.

"I needed a dog that would, when I’m on my bad days, be okay with just a short walk.”

The Northern Echo: Thirsk rescue dog Bleu is happy in her new home Picture: Blue CrossThirsk rescue dog Bleu is happy in her new home Picture: Blue Cross

Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds can sleep for up to 18 hours a day and are happy with two 20-minute walks a day, so Amy knew that if she wasn’t feeling her best she would still be able to take Bleu on regular walks.

As well as transforming Amy’s mental health, ex-racer Bleu has miraculously learnt to detect when her owner is on the cusp of an MS ‘attack’ and her muscles are failing her.

Even before Amy knows it herself, Bleu will sense an oncoming attack and start pulling her home.

The Northern Echo: Picture: BLUE CROSSPicture: BLUE CROSS

She also helps to guide Amy when her optic neuritis becomes worse and she struggles to see.

Danni Shirreffs, centre manager at Blue Cross in Thirsk said: “When we heard about Bleu’s new life and how supportive she is of her owner we were delighted.

"Amy and Bleu have formed such a close bond and when you consider Bleu hadn’t experienced much outside of kennels during her racing years it is wonderful how she has adapted and how the pair have become inseparable.”

The Northern Echo: Thirsk rescue dog Bleu pictured at the Blue Cross centre Picture: Blue CrossThirsk rescue dog Bleu pictured at the Blue Cross centre Picture: Blue Cross

Amy continued: “That first day I took her onto the beach, and her feet hit that sand, the joy on her face was just amazing.

"And her smile… it literally brought tears to my eyes.

"She is my world, 100 per cent my world.”

This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Blue Cross.

Originally called ‘Our Dumb Friends League’, the charity formed to help vulnerable pets and their owners and continues this work today across rehoming, clinical, animal behaviour, pet bereavement support and educational work.

Blue Cross relies on the support and donations of pet lovers to continue its vital work, to find out more and make a donation visit the charity's website.


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