What a strange species we are!
Two days ago, just 3 miles down the road, someone reported seeing two dogs dumped in a yard and the culprit driving off at high speed. It was on the corner of Hugo Rd and Barker Rd, and Barker I know well because when I ride my bike I do an extra mile along Barker. (And we live on Hugo Rd.)
Then there’s the attitude adopted by the person who took puppies to a shelter. “… the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal.” As seen on the website Treehugger. Have a read.
Rescued Blind and Deaf Puppies Are Incredibly Joyful
Breeder had threatened to feed them to coyotes.
By Mary Jo DiLonardo Updated April 9th, 2021
As I write this, it sounds like there are hyenas battling it out in my basement. Yelps and screams and torturous cries are storming up the stairs along with a few barks and high-pitched squeals.
It’s just another day in fostering some rambunctious blind and deaf puppies who happen to play very, very loudly.
Trudy and Zane are 9-week-old Australian shepherd mixes, maybe Aussiedoodles. They were dropped off at a rural shelter somewhere in Illinois by a breeder. When the beleaguered shelter worker asked what would happen to the puppies if she couldn’t take them, the breeder told her the coyotes can always use a meal. She couldn’t believe it.
The shelter, of course, took them. And Speak! St. Louis, the rescue I volunteer with, of course, stepped up. And somehow the puppies ended up here in Atlanta, playing “WWF Smackdown” in my basement.
Trudy and Zane are double merles like the Treehugger puppies. Merle is a swirly pattern in a dog’s coat that is very lovely and highly prized by breeders and people who want a pretty dog. When two dogs with the merle gene are bred together, there’s a 25% chance that their puppies will be blind, deaf, or both.
Sometimes this happens by accident, but it seems that it happens too often on purpose. In any case, there sure are plenty of puppies that end up needing homes. At least those are the ones that rescue groups hear about. Others just quietly disappear.
I’m pretty sure that Zane and Trudy weren’t handled much by their owner when they got here. They were awfully squirmy and bitey and didn’t want to be held or touched. They wouldn’t eat unless they were touching each other.
So I’ve been working on it. Hold one for a few seconds and put them down before they fidget. Pet them all over a little at a time. Feed them just a little farther apart at each meal.
In just a couple of weeks, they’ve learned that people are pretty cool.
Navigating the World
I’ve fostered a blind puppy, several deaf puppies, and two blind and deaf puppies including the famous Whibble Magoo, who is now competing in agility contests and is smarter than most people I know.
It’s just amazing to watch how they navigate the world. They quickly map out their area, learning where the walls, bushes, and furniture are. Sure, they bounce off a few things at first but puppy heads are pretty hard. They do a little bit of a cartoon-like head shake where the world, no doubt, spins a little bit inside their heads. Then they jump up and go back to exploring and running and being happy.
And, boy, are they happy.
People often say they feel sorry when they see blind or deaf puppies. They talk about how awful it must be for them.
But this is the only life they know and they are so joyful! When they go outside, they bounce in the grass like it is the best, most wonderful place in the world. When they play with a toy, it’s the coolest toy ever. When they find my dog, their tails wag so hard because they are ecstatic to be around him.
And when they find a person, they are elated because people are amazing, fun, and they give snuggles and treats.
They’ve come a long way from being just a step away from coyote dinner. Now they’ve learned to sit with two taps on their bottom and they are learning “down” is a tap on the front foot.
They are getting ready to look for their forever homes where their new people will appreciate that they aren’t just deaf and blind puppies. Instead, they are brilliant, silly, playful, gorgeous puppies with wonderful loving, sweet personalities.
They just happen to play and live with the volume turned up loud.
Regarding that dog dump in Barker Road, I managed to find out which house it was and later on in the day went for a bike ride that took me that way. There was no sign of anything unusual.
But to get to the matter of today’s post that is all about puppies that are blind or deaf. As I am sure you are aware, dogs are very different to us humans when it comes to their senses. I have written before about the great power of their sense of smell. This is many ways is their leading sense and I have no doubt that in the case of dogs that are blind or deaf their smell allows them to function pretty well.
There are many, many good people in the world. Some are outstanding. But I regret that there are quite a few low lights. Shame but there it is.