By Leah Fox
Vets have been left baffled by a dog born with hair growing through its EYES – after a kind animal lover adopted the pup from a farm when he was due to be put down.
Dog lover and garage worker Tracey Smith, 43, spotted the unique pooch, named Frankie, while delivering car parts to a local working farm, and noticed he had small tufts of hair sprouting through both of his eyes which were believed to have made him blind.
When the farmhand told her the dog would be put down because he was of no use to them being visually impaired, kind-hearted Tracey took the Jack Russell and Papillon cross home for free and headed to the vets – but even they were left puzzled.
Seven years later Tracey still has little answers on Frankie’s distinctive attribute, but she has surprisingly found that her pet isn’t completely blind, has no health problems and captures the hearts of her family and friends just like any other dog.
Tracey, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: “When I first saw Frankie, I was out delivering some parts at a farm – usually I just leave the parts and go but I saw these little bundles of fluff running around so I had a quick look.
“I said to the man there that they were lovely and he told me that one had already been sold, but he was having to put one of them down soon.
“I looked at him and asked what was wrong with the dog because he was running around looking normal.
“The man picked him up and he was a little dog with big fluff coming out of his eyes and I was told that because he was blind and he couldn’t be used on the farm or be sold as a pet.
“I thought ‘bless him’ and the guy turned around and said if I wanted him to take him I could, and that was it.
“I took him straight to the vets and had Frankie checked out – they were baffled by his eyes as well and had never heard of it before.
“The vet gave Frankie his first injections and told me to just keep an eye on him and treat him as if he was a blind dog, by moving things out of the way.
“I did that and when I started taking him for walks, I’d let him off the lead and I found that he would run around the field just fine.
“Two weeks later when he went to have his next set of injections, I spoke to the vet and said there’s no way Frankie can be fully blind because he moves so well.
“The vet had another look and found there’s pretty much a tiny little bit that he can see out of both eyes so he’s definitely not blind, but he hasn’t got perfect vision.
“Frankie is the best dog you could ever have, he’s so well-natured, happy, lovely and obedient – he’s like my little shadow.”
Tracey claims the vets have never said exactly what Frankie could have, but they believe he has two cysts behind his eyes that somehow cause the hair to grow through his eyeballs.
She says the hair causes him no pain and there has never been any medical problems with his eyes in the long time that she has cared for him – she hasn’t even needed to cut the hair.
She has searched the internet for diagnoses however all she can find is information about dogs who have hair growing on top of their eyes, not through, so she believes there is no other dog like Frankie out there.
Tracey added: “When I showed him to my family for the first time they were a bit freaked out by his eyes but now everyone loves him.
“My dad calls him Denis Healey because he looks like the politician with the big eyebrows!
“I posted about him on a Facebook group recently and it got a great reaction overall, with everyone saying how lovely he is – even though one person thought I’d photoshopped the hair onto his eyes!
“My wife Alex is now working from home, and she puts Frankie’s bed out in the kitchen because he always has to be with someone and he’ll sit with my wife all day on his bed until I get home.
“He’ll always be waiting for me at the window and he’s right by my side all the time when I’m at home.
“I feel really good about saving him from being put down because the way I look at him now it would have been such a waste because he’s such a loving dog.”