Scotty, my middle pup

3.28.2008


I'd like to introduce you to my middle pup, a Miniature Australian Shepherd that I call Scotty James, however, he has no idea what his name is. You see, Scotty is deaf. That's right. Deaf. He can't hear a thing. It's funny...When I tell people he is deaf, they always ask if I am sure. It's not too hard to figure out. Yell at him while he is sleeping and he won't move a muscle. Gently touch him right after that and he jumps a foot because he was startled. Yup, I'm sure. :-P Scotty is the result of a breeder breeding two merle dogs together, which is a big no-no in the breeder world. Sadly, some do it to get more merle pups, which can be sold for more money. The ones like Scotty, that have too much white fur which is an indicator that deafness and/or blindness may be an issue, are sometimes culled at birth. It's a practice that makes me sick. (To learn more about deaf dogs check out DeafDogs.org)

*~* note: While looking for a web page, I ran across this one. A couple of years ago, Scotty was part of a genetic study. His picture is on the researcher's web page. He is the one standing in the snow. That was fun to find! *~*

So, what is it like living with a deaf dog? Not much different than living with a hearing dog, except for a few key areas. I can't allow him to be off leash at a dog park and if he is barking at the mailman, yelling at him to stop does no good. Trust me, I try. ;o) On the bright side, he's not afraid of thunder or fireworks on the 4th of July.

Scotty loves, loves, loves balls. Did I mention he LOVES balls? He is a fool for a ball! He will play ball for hours and hours. I wear out long before he does. He is convinced that all people who visit are coming over just to play ball with him. As soon as he gets done with his greeting routine (barking and jumping on people *blush*), he runs all over the house to find a ball. Once he finds one, he drops it in front of said guest, sits and tilts his head to the side then begins the very subtle hinting of what he wants. It goes like this: Look at guest, look at ball. Look at guest, look at ball. BARK. Repeat. Most people give in and he is so happy, happy, happy to have someone throw the ball for him. I am very happy, happy, happy to rest my arm.

Scotty never wonders too far from my side. It's pretty common for deaf dogs to need to see their owner, since they can't hear where their owner is. I always know where he is and he knows where I am, or how to find me if he wakes up from a nap and notices I left the room. You know...Like when I have to go to the ladies room.

Here is how it goes:

Scotty: *sleeping*
Me: *walks to the ladies room and shuts the door*
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: Yes, Scotty, I am in here...I'll be out in a second. (Yes, I talk to my deaf dog)
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: Wait a second, Scotty!
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: *big sigh as I open the door*
Scotty: looks in to see if I am there and then leaves!
Me: *shuts door firmly*

What can I say...I love the boy...

Scotty has exhibited some nervousness in the last few months that have been a concern for me. I'm doing a trial run using Prozac. He is using the Prozac, not me....I use something else. *grin* My poor dog and I both appear to have problems with serotonin. Sorry, but that cracks me up!!! :-D He is much more relaxed and seems to be more content. Scotty holds such a special place in my heart. We lose our animals way too quickly as it is, so the thought of losing him before that already-too-soon-time was hard to consider. I want to delay that time for as long as possible.

Next time I'll share about Clay, the one who started it all. :o)

8 comments:

  1. What that dog needs is a "hearing-ear dog" to help him along. I hear that black labs are good for that.

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  2. I was afraid to read your comment. I debated.. Read it or not...I'm glad I read it! I am laughing out loud!!

    Good try, Pastor, good try! :-D

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  3. Marilyn@A Mixed BouquetFriday, March 28, 2008

    Eric's reply is hilarious! Scotty sounds like a neat dog, Amy.

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  4. Scotty is adorable. My little dog, BooBoo, has always been the way Scotty is in regards to having to be near my side at all times. I figured out early on that she had appointed herself as my bodyguard for life. She has also always followed me to the bathroom, content to go lie back down once she is assured of my whereabouts.

    Now that she is very old, she has gone blind and is nearly deaf. It's much more difficult for her to keep up with me now, and is sad the way she is constantly roaming around the house to find me. Before, I could just say her name to let her know where I was. Now, she barely hears me, and can't tell which direction my voice is. It's so sad when they get old. :-(

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  5. Can you stomp on the floor and have her feel the vibration to give her a clue as to where you are? Oh, wait...You have cement floors, right?

    I have lost cats that I loved dearly, but I know it will be 10 X's harder losing one of my dogs. The bond is different with them than it was with the cats.

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  6. Awww, I think I love him! Give Scotty a hug from me!

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  7. I've found that pounding the walls helps to get her come to the front door when it's time to go out, but it isn't always convenient to reach the walls to pound them when I'm sittin' on my duff, vegging in front of the tv. ;-Þ

    Stomping the floors does sometimes get her attention. I stomp up the sidewalk to get her to follow me back indoors. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a kook. ;-Þ

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  8. Oh, this dog was my favorite of yours just from the picture - when I read the post I fell in love with him.

    We've had deaf cats but never a deaf dog. Never seemed like a big deal with the cats because they ignore you anyway. : )

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