Meet Ceasar, the world's only seeing-eye camel and his loving charge, Dolly the blind mare.
Ceasar is probably the only seeing-eye-dog /camel in the world, and he takes his job as seriously as could ever be expected. As the words of that old song sort of go, he only has eyes for Dolly, a blind mare, who in turn loves him back in her own equine way. In the words of zookeeper, Ed Papsis, "The camel was looking for a companion and the horse needed assistance." The rest, as they say, is sweet history (See Orlando The Service Dog.)
Ceasar and Dolly are a loving act to behold
While Ceasar is the main attraction to the petting zoo, he and Dolly entertain crowds as a team. Their performance is a simple one and just consists of showing visitors how they interact. Visitors watch the camel guide Dolly around the corral as she dutifully follows the lead initiated by her seeing-eye-dog /camel. It is a heart-warming sight, and no doubt, many a kleenex gets passed around. (See: Blind Dog Teaches Children to See.)
Papsis claims visitors to the zoo are surprised by Ceasar's winning personality. He is very approachable and no one expects that. In his own words: "Normally, people are thinking of the desert camels. He is the friendliest thing." At first, they tried pairing him with some alpacas. He was too big, however, and that didn't work out. He was a lonely camel fellow, seeking a companion. And then, as Dolly's eyesight diminished, she needed a guide. (See: The Cat Guide of The Swiss Alps)
Who is to say why living creatures bond? Perhaps with animals it is the same intangible force as it is with humans; that is, the meeting of each other's needs and the nurturing of old wounds. Papsis said: "We put the horse in here and she just kind of bonded with him and he bonded with her. It worked out because she relies on him and will follow him around." When he is not in her area, she whines for him and he bellows back, letting her know that he is near and always will be.
Love is love with one hump or two; with two legs or four.
And Ceasar and Dolly are always there for each other, exemplifying the beautiful ties that bind all living spirits.