International News Desk – At Home: Blind sled dog ready to retire – In Foreign News: Camden plans ?naked? streets to reduce accidents

International News Desk – At Home: Blind sled dog ready to retire – In Foreign News: Camden plans ?naked? streets to reduce accidents

At Home: Blind sled dog ready to retire

It’s not unusual that Isobel, a husky-cross sled dog, is ready for retirement. She’s nine years old, a standard age for sled-dog retirement. What is unusual is that Isobel is blind?and She’s been running that way for the past five years.

As the CBC reports, Isobel ?staggered to a halt in the middle of a sled run? one day. Vets told her owners that Isobel’s retinas were detached and advised that her days as a sled dog were over. Her owners took that advice but Isobel soon lost her spirit, refusing to eat or drink.

A visit from one of Isobel’s former sled mates brought a noticeable difference in the husky cross and her owners made the reluctant decision to try putting Isobel back in harness. She quickly responded.

?The first couple of steps she stumbled a little bit, and after that it was straight on down the trail and she never looked back,? her owner Gerald Azure told reporters.

Her appetite returned and, according to Azure, Isobel handled being in harness just as well as she had before. To compensate for her blindness, she relies on human commands and the position of her sled mates, as well as her other senses. She’s even ?helped beat other dog teams in head-to-head competitions.?

Isobel’s story attracted the attention of NBC and the network visited Churchill, Manitoba, to film a feature on her. Isobel won’t be spending her retirement in Churchill, though. Instead, she’ll move to Alberta to take up residence with the veterinarian eye specialist who initially treated her condition.

In Foreign News: Camden plans ?naked? streets to reduce accidents

There’s been a lot of attention paid to driver distraction inside vehicles recently. But the city of Camden, in North London, has a plan to reduce distraction outside vehicles?and potentially reduce accidents. As the Times Online reports, a 380-metre stretch of Camden’s High Street ?is to become the city’s only ?naked? street.?

The average city street is loaded with signs, recycling and garbage bins, bollards, and other visual distractions. Planners believe that by de-cluttering the street, drivers will become more aware of the ?6,000 pedestrians who use the street every hour at its busiest times.? The idea is already in use in the Netherlands.

The street has had 27 accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists in the past three years, an ?unusually high number.? Along with removing visual distractions, the plan calls for sidewalks to be widened by up to 2.5 metres, which will reduce the road to a ?single-file carriageway.? A lack of formal pedestrian crossings will mean that pedestrians are free to cross where they choose. They are, however, advised to ?make eye contact with drivers to establish the right of way.?

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