Born 1948, folk singer and goat farmer, Ed Harper, grew up near Manchester in the United Kingdom.

At the age of 11 months he developed measles and lost the sight in one of his eyes. When he was three years old he became blind in his other eye due to trauma caused by a scissors.

Ed attended boarding schools, before going on to study social sciences in university. He then became a sociology teacher and decided to apply for a Guide Dog. “The difference a Guide Dog made to my independence is amazing. I have greater confidence to travel and visit new places,” he said.

Having always had a keen interest in goat farming and being a frequent visitor to Cape Clear, Ed bought several acres of land and moved to Cape Clear in 1979.

Over the years, Ed has had six Guide Dogs from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Ed trained with his current Guide Dog Izzy in 2007. She is a German Shepherd and Ed says, “I find the German Shepherd breed are adaptable. Izzy is an excellent guide whether working in the city or the country.”

Ed also says, “Getting a Guide Dog made it easier to do my first job as a sociology teacher. However, my work as a goat farmer would simply be impossible to do without the help of my Guide Dog Izzy.”

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