Somehow we only wanted to look at the new born puppies in a friend’s home.Somehow…. But things turn out to be differently.
Several months ago, we had to put asleep our beloved Retriever BENNY. But we still had CASEY , our Border Collie and MAC our first Australian Cattle Dog. We were convinced that two dogs are pretty enough. No, there was really no danger, to look at some puppies…. What a wrong conclusion!
Seldom a Single Cattle Dog Comes Alone
Innocence my name is LILLY
Like always expected the puppies were very sweet and just for fun I heard myself say:”what a darling this little pup is with her round, white plush buttock. It took only moments and the breeder gave me the sweetheart to my arms. It was true, what she said, that we managed marvelously with MAC, who was also her breeding.And it was also true, that we would care for her and she would enjoy to live with us. I only asked, if she is bilateral deaf. She was. A deaf dog. A completely deaf dog! What a challenge! What we did not realize and could not know, that this cute little pup would once be a “real” Cattle Dog. Her kennel mate was everything else than a “typical” ACD.
When we left, we had accepted this challenge and LILLY moved to us after six weeks.
I Mutated to a Bookworm
Before LILLY invaded our home, I studied two books about deaf dogs and visited also several homepages in the Internet about the same topic. This turned out to very helpful and was very commendable. Nevertheless we learned to consider several things before we purchased a dog with such a handicap.
Pantomime Is Fun!
LILLY l is very talented and learns quickly . After a short while she knew the difference of my hand signs, like “sit”, “come”, “great/ok”, “down” ( very unpleasant, she thinks) and “no”. Meanwhile I added more signs like “stay” , “bring”, “jump” and “search”. She also knows what it means, when I show her my teeth. She takes her paws from the dinner table. The orders “quiet” and “finish” are not really favored by her”
No disturbance – I am hunting mice
I believe it’s very important, that a deaf dog builds up especially good emotional ties to his owner.
Even, if I know that this is well-understood for every hearing dog too. With a deaf dog the efforts have to be even more. It is a guarantee that you can let the dog to be free of his leach.
MAC and CASEY Turn to Be Ideals
Our two dogs helped me terrifically much when educating LILLY. She looks what they are doing and then imitates them. When MAC is barking, she is either joining the concert or is running to the door/window, eagerly watching if someone is coming.
LILLY and me are also busy in agility, as I do that with all three. dogs. She quickly got the clue and does very well. Of course, you have to be well-defined in your movements because she has nothing else to orientate herself as she does not understand spoken orders.
If I call the other two dogs, she understands it immediately and runs behind the others. She never looses me out of eye-sight.
Very often she is even the first one, who notices that I want to hide myself behind a tree. Once in a while it happens that LILLY is chasing into a cornfield or into a deep forest. I am not afraid at all because she will find me anyhow at any time.
Very often I believe, to run through dry leaves, grass or thick bushes is a sort of hearing for her. She loves to do it and MAC imitates her with it.
LILLY and Her Female Empowerment
Important is, that MAC HEARS that I’m the Boss
LILLY has a very different character compared to MAC. She is extremely self-confident, if she wants to try something.
When she came to us in summertime, she jumped to a garden chair and intended to land with a next jump on the garden table. Instead of that, she ended painfully with her chin on the table and dropped on the earth. You think, she learned from it? Of yeah, she did! Next time she put her back faster into it and landed on top of the table. Such an idea MAC would have never had.
Nothing is too high or too shaky for LILLY. Last winter she jumped over neighbour’s fence, from there to the table and in the same jump to a little outdoor pavilion where she caught on the fly the chickadee’s fat balls.
MAC would have never jumped over the fence, except if “Kamikatze”, the really mean tomcat of the neighbour would have been there.
Not Seafaring is Necessary – but Communication!
Her reactions towards strangers of her own species varies. Often she does not know how to react. Often she is unsure to estimate strange dogs. Not every dog has a well-defined body language. Over and above LILLY does not really know, what is well-defined.Therefore she prefers to watch MAC and CASEY before she makes her own decisions. Right in the beginning I made her to meet many different dogs. There were old and young ones, big and small, light coated and dark dogs. She came into contact with longhaired dogs or those with short noses. She managed very well. Of course, it does not mean, that she gets along with every dog. LILLY recognizes the weak points in another dog fairly quick and then takes clever advantage of it.
It is not really joyful, when we meet other dogs on a leach, while she is free. Nearly always she is attacking the other one and is chasing him around his owner’s legs. But, if she is on a leach. other dogs are graciously allowed to approach her. All my dogs learned to take contact to other dogs this way. Only in case, it does not work, I call them back. This way I avoided, that they turned out to be barkers on a leach.
Tenderness gives Love for Joy
I Love Life!
By the way it is not true, that deaf dogs are sleeping deeper than hearing ones.
LILLY ist every time very quickly up, if I am ready to leave the room. I guess, she might swell it, if someone is entering the room or leaves it. Her sense for smelling or that for seeing have developed according to that.
Finally I want to emphasize; If anyone of you wants to live with a deaf dog. give him a chance to learn as much as possible right from beginning of. Handle him as if he could hear. Talk to your dog, because he can clearly see, if you are happy or angry f.ex. Cuddle your pet and let as many visitors go near to him as possible. Do not hesitate with children. Shock your dog though he is sleeping, because he must get used to be touched if he ever runs away. It is immensely important that he allows strangers to touch him in such a situation..Give him the possibility to meet strange dogs or any other animal.
A deaf dog feels as much joy for life as any hearing pet. He has a definite right to live!!!
LILLY is hunting mice