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.