In Quezon City, Philippines, a Golden retriever acting as a guide dog for a senior, blind spaniel as seen in a video, has gone viral bringing smiles from around the world. The dogs, named Ginger and Kimchi, are known in the area as “ambassaDOGS,” and for the last three years their amazing stories have promoted both animal assisted therapy programs and mental health benefits.
The dogs regularly visit hospital patients, schools and company employees. Their service to the community is widely appreciated.
Ginger, the 11-year-old Golden retriever and 10-year-old Kimchi, are both adopted pups. As a puppy, Ginger had never been properly socialized and never was able to get along with other dogs, however her owners decided in 2012 to adopt another dog. And off they went to the CARA Welfare Philippines rescue to introduce Ginger to a new canine friend. As if it may have been destined to be, Ginger immediately bonded with Kimchi.
“We immediately took them out for a walk that turned out to be very pleasant. Ginger even licked him when we stopped for a breather, the adopters wrote on the dogs’ Facebook page. “Seems like the dog, whom we later named Kimchi, chose us, and Ginger chose him.”
Kimchi had been abandoned and suffered health issues including being almost blind. When in 2015, Kimchi became totally blind, Ginger, who never had any formal guide dog training, took over the part of leading her pal anywhere the family traveled.
It was just recently when the video of Ginger leashed together with Kimchi went viral as Ginger helped the blind pooch down the steep stairway at the hotel.
“We tried a few times to let Kimchi go down ‘strange stairs’ by himself and he just stood there and didn’t budge,” said his human parents. Ginger is Kimchi’s eyes, and he gets his confidence and courage from her.”
Of course, social media is always filled with opinions – both good and bad. According to their Facebook page, some people have been critical of the dogs tied together.
“Please understand that there really isn’t any cruelty that’s happening in the video, or in their relationship as guide dog-blind dog. Ginger and Kimchi adore each other. At home, they aren’t tied to each other, Kimchi knows the general lay-out of our humble home, the location of the front door, stairs, water bowls, and his favorite armchair. Heck, he even knows where the cat litter boxes are so we make sure they cleaned quickly because he enjoys partaking a “kitty-choco” snack when he gets ‘lucky’. We also put some barriers around them to discourage him from raiding.”
In addition, Kimchi might be spared some feline wrath at times.
“What he doesn’t know is where any one of our 18 cats is sleeping, so he sometimes gets whacked by 2 particular kitties, when he bowls over them in his daily walks around the house. But he does bump into walls and table legs occasionally so we’re hoping someone would donate a doggie “halo” to him, something that we simply cannot afford given the great disparity in exchange rate.”
Ginger and Kimchi’s humans hope to assure everyone that the two dogs are extremely bonded to each other and have no problem with their living arrangements. They recently celebrated their adoption birthdays together.
“…While there are many pet-friendly parks, resorts, and malls in the capital of the Philippines, none allow off-leashed pets. They are the only ones allowed because well, none of them is going anywhere without the other, as each keeps the other in check. Ginger is very patient, she gently tugs at Kimchi to where we lead her to. But more often than not, she can take Kimchi to any direction she chooses, as we often walk behind them. Kimchi, totally trusts his soul-sister, and allows himself to be led. If he doesn’t like the flooring, say it’s too slippery for him, then he’d just stand and refuse to budge, then Ginger just patiently stands by his lil bro…”
(Photos and video of dog serving as guide dog for his canine pal via Facebook)
Check out their videos.
Isn’t it wonderful to have a best friend?
Now watch Ginger lead Kimchi down a flight of steep steps.
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