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Wednesday, August 21, 1996 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Surgery Can't Aid Hero Dog -- Blind Canine Kept Girl From Drowning In River

AP

PORTLAND - A blind dog that saved a girl from drowning suffers from a genetic disease that cannot be cured with surgery, says a veterinarian.

The yellow Labrador retriever, named Norman, plunged into the Necanicum River on the north Oregon coast early this month to save 14-year-old Lisa Nibley of Battle Ground, Clark County. But nothing can be done to restore the dog's vision, said Dr. Grant Maurer, a veterinary ophthalmologist at the Animal Eye Clinic in Tigard.

Jeff Nibley, Lisa's father, was at the clinic Monday with his wife, Elaine.

Lisa was convinced she was going to drown and was praying for someone to help her when Norman "just showed up" and ran straight into the water to swim to the struggling girl. She grabbed hold of the dog and held on until Norman pulled her to shallower water.

Nibley had tried to raise money for surgery to help Norman. Any donations will be passed along to animal shelters.

Norman was rescued from a dog pound by Annette and Steve McDonald of Seaside.

Copyright (c) 1996 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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