Sunday, November 21, 2010

I adopted another deaf pup- Garry. He's now the center of our lives and the joy of my life. He's no Prancy Pants. He's Ralph the Mouth, Garr-E!, snuggle muffin, fuzzy wuzzy, and all kinds of other names. He's cute cute cute and he never gets smelly. His breath smells sweet, his fur-- at it's worst-- smells like a BARN. In a good way. The way horses smell. He loves everything and everyone and doesn't care when one of the other 2 steal his boney. The best start to every day is when I get in my car and see his little fuzzy white head poking between the curtains and him looking wistfully at me as I leave. It simultaneously breaks and warms my heart.

Today we we listed some of the things that are great about deaf dogs:
1) they sleep though anything
2) they don't bark when the doorbell rings
3) they don't mind loud places (G actually LOVES to go where he can see lots of action)
4) when another dog starts barking ferociously at them, it looks like I have trained them really well (as they "ignore" the barker mcbarkerson)
5) they are visually attentive, which seems really sweet
6) you don't get angry or frustrated when they don't listen becuase they can't even HEAR!

Meet Garry- I think you'll love him as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We should be on by now

I intended to post regularly about life with Haley but life has taken a back seat....make that living has taken a back seat... to the every day struggle of work and remodeling projects that don't end and the haze I have been in of late.

Haley is great. Never better. I am struggling. Nathan is making Haley's vibrating collar right now. This is a another project that has fallen by the wayside and is finally, finally almost done. Not a shock collar! It's a vibrating collar that we have "fashioned" out of a remote-control car (we found the how-to online). We'll use it to get her attention. The plan was to use it when she was in the yard and we want her to come inside or to make sure she doesn't run too far off at the dog park. HOWEVER, there's a barking problem we need to quell. Badly. So I'm hopeful that it will work for that somehow. please. She can't hear how loud she barks and it's deafening and shocking. Nathan thinks one day she'll bark unexpectedly and he'll have a heart attack. It's that loud!

We have a lot of rituals with Hales that we don't even realize unless other people come over. The way I call her name although she can't hear me must seem crazy to an outsider. The way I direct her with my hands or push her gently in the direction I want her to go, and she gets it. The way we let her "mouth" us to say hello, because that sensory connection must seem so great to her, with no sounds and little sights. The way she plays and we play along. She likes to fetch, but you have to "throw" the sock (for example) so that it brushes her body as it falls to the ground so that she can find it. She plays alone as well which is hilarious because she has such gusto as she tosses the item and then can't find it and searches for it (when it's sometimes right in fron t of her) and then gets so excited to find it and throw it back into oblivion. When we feed her she takes a bite and then has to turn around to make sure you're still there, so we wait. Once she finds you just the one time she'll happily go about eating.

I think of all these rituals because we are hoping to take a vacation soon and I remember watching Rey's dad's dogs years ago and how ridiculous we thought the 2 page "memo" was about how to take care of them. I wonder if anyone would want to care for my easy loving Sammie and challenging Haley and how exactly I would go about telling them all the random ins and outs and quirks in her character.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who's the better dog?

Mom and Dad brought home a Christmas tree today. Pops didn't really want a Christmas tree because he was really worried about what I would do to a tree in the house. What would I do?? Well, I was really super excited when they got home. I was extra squirmy and bouncy and licky and happy. Sam and I ran into the room with the tree and I just played it cool, you know. Real cool-like. Sam, however, walked right up to the tree and PEED on it, right there! Right in front of Mom and Dad. I was secretly laughing as they yelled at him and made him go outside. I watched Mom put the lights on the tree. I have never seen lights like that before. A couple of times I tried to play with the shiny balls she had out, but she made me stop. Later after she finished putting all those balls and bells onto the tree I went up and sniffed it a lot.

**ed.note- Haley continues to amaze us at how she really is no different than a dog that can hear and see well. I'm thankful that she can see a little, but it's times like today when we move things out of place or rearrange that we realize how little she really does see. She compensates amazingly well and today showed us that she is often easier and better-behaved than our sight hound ;).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I rock

Ok, so I've been thinking about lots of things. I was thinking that I am not ashamed to talk about how cute I am. I am cute, ok? I don't think anyone would argue with me. I do cute things, I look cute like all the time and I make cute grunty-noises. This cuteness really works for me. I think if I wasn't so cute my mom and dad would have sent me back by now. One of the main cute things that I do is I get the scoots and I run around and act all silly. Mom and Dad always laugh really loud when I do it, so I do it every day. See, I'm a smart breed! Another cute thing I do is I hang out by my mom constantly! All. the. freaking. time. 24/7, yo! (That's not true, I'm just gettin' all gansta, which is cute! I'm a blind deaf motha fucka! and I'll get up in yo' grill! and lick you!)

So tonight something interesting happened...I was in the kitchen, helping mom cook, being cute, and she started talking to me (she thinks I really can't hear) and she was all, "oh, are you helping me cooook, that's just what I need, a blind dog getting burned on the stove..." and I was all, "beeyatch, you don't even know what I cook when you aren't here!"....and she was all, " dog, I know you don't cook because you can't SEE...for starters, and you don't have opposable THUMBS! for finishers..." and I was all..."GEEZ, you don't have to be so mean...."

I think mom might be a little mad at me. Well, see I was chewing a bone last night on her new rug in the living room and I got a little, just a little, carried away. I must have been drooling onto the rug and then the rug started to taste like the bone and then next thing you know! I chewed a whole in her rug. Her NEW rug (so I hear). So I guess I can't blame her for being pissed about me cooking in her kitchen when she's at work. Poor mom! I wish she didn't have to work so much!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ok. Let me set some things straight. I'm Jen, her "mom". Yes, I didn't know she was blind. She did completely fool me. However, I saw adopting her (whether just deaf or both deaf and blind) as not only an opportunity to feel like I am doing the OPPOSITE of what my dog-showing and dog-breeding family has done (something that I personally consider irresponsible), but also a chance to educate people about the joys of owning a disabled dog. Furthermore, I see this as a chance to alert people that there are casual breeders who may not know how perilous it is to breed certain strains of dogs within the same breed together. So I suupose I aim to raise consciousness on that front as well. I guess I'm setting out to be some handicapped -dog hero. WONDERJEN. But bare with me.

Haley is, unfortunately, a handicapped dog that could have been avoided entirely. She's the result of an ignorant or careless breeder who bred 2 Merle Australian Shepherds. That coloring throws a double dominant gene and 25-30% of the puppies are sight or hearing impaired... but no less sweet or adorable or loveable...r less deserving of a chance! This is a situation that could have easily be avoided if the breeder wasn't negligent. BUT it wasn't avoided and so Nathan and I went to Bellingham and we brought home Haley.

We learn ABOUT her and we learn FROM her daily. It's a give and take but what I guarantee is that she gives more than we take and so that makes it worth every minute. Over future posts I will tell you honestly, what challenges we face raising and living with our deaf and (NOT) mute (since she has no idea how loud she barks) prancy princess.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The beginnings

I guess you could say that my mom is a sucker for needy animals- I heard her say once that when she was little she tried to talk her mom into letting her get a blind puppy. Her mom was adament, "no". Maybe that's why she ended up with me. There are these pictures around the house of this other Australian Shepherd that looks a little like me, but then not really. I'm much cuter! and prissy-er, and more dainty. Sometimes dad calls me Katy, so I think that was her name. Well, she died and they were lonely. Even my new friend Sam was lonely and so Jen (that's my mom) well she looked online at Petfinder and learned that there are al kinds of deaf Australian Shepherds that need help.

So she and Nathan drove all the way to Bellingham (that's 5 hours they drove!) because they had seen me online. What they didn't know about me was that not only am I deaf, but I am also pretty much blind. See, this is where I am REAL proud of myself. See I have this one eye that's not really an eye and then I have this other weird eye that's sort of an eye. When they came to meet me- you'll hardly believe this! they couldn't.tell. I.was blind. I'm really good like that. I was running all around and happy and I did some tricks and the lady, when asked if I chewed up my toys, she really had my back. See, she had this one toy that was fresh and new and she LIED to mom and dad and told them that I NEVER chew my toys. In fact, she said I had arrived 6 months back with that very toy. Th e pristine toy that was perfectly unchewed. So, having driven 5 hours in pouring rain mom and dad (I didn't call them that then!) gathered up my things- I didn't have very many! and off I went to Portland to meet my new friend Sam.