Our Apparently Deaf Dog

It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that our dog Kasey may be dealing with deafness.

If true, it’s not surprising, because Kasey’s getting to be of pretty advanced age.  She’s a rescue dog, so we’re not exactly sure how old she is, but the vet estimates from her teeth that she’s probably somewhere around 14 or 15.  Lately she’s experiencing some of the gimpiness, gastric, and bladder problems that you see in older dogs, and she spends a bigger portion of her day sleeping, too.

DSC04123The apparent deafness, though, seems to be a more recent development.  I’ve particularly noticed it this week, while Kish has been on the road.  It used to be that when I would get home from work Kasey would hear me walking up the steps and the key rattling in the door and come to the foyer to greet me with a few welcoming wags of her tail.  Now she doesn’t, and when I call her she doesn’t come, either, so I have to search the house to find her.  Usually she’s up in the upstairs bedroom.  As always, she’s happy to see me when I come into her field of vision, so I’m guessing that the change in habit has less to do with diffidence about the arrival of the Old Boring Guy and more to do with not hearing me as I come in.

There are other potential signs of hearing problems, too.  Kasey is terrified of thunderstorms, but lately it’s only the loudest peals of thunder that seem to bother her.  She doesn’t come running like she used to when the clatter of the bowls in her feeding area indicates that food is being laid out for her enjoyment.  She seems to bark more, and I wonder if that is because hearing herself bark is one way of interrupting her increasingly quiet world.

There’s no problem with living with a hearing-impaired dog, really — you just need to make sure that she sees what you are doing and can then follow the patterns of behavior that we’ve established over years of living together.  She doesn’t need to hear “time for bed” if she sees you heading up the stairs, and the sight of her leash is as effective a communication about going for a walk as a verbal command.  If she’s adjusting to a changing world, we certainly can do that as well.  Kasey may end up as deaf as a post, but we’ll love her just the same.

Pet Stop

It’s become increasingly common to see people traveling with pets these days.  Whether it is service dogs or dogs taken along for comfort or company, canines are a much more frequent sight on airport concourses than they used to be.

All of which leads to the question of what the pooches do when they feel the call of nature.  The Philadelphia airport answers the call with a small astroturfed area complete with retrieval bags and a bright red fire hydrant.  

More Puppies

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Richard and Julianne are getting a new dog in the near future.  It’s a Lab that has been bred and recently gave birth to a litter of three puppies — who are now two weeks old — and the breeder sent us this photo of the pups.

It’s kind of shameless to post pictures of puppies, but I just can’t resist it.  Is there anything cuter than puppies?

Old Dog, New Tricks

Paisley has arrived for her brief stay with the Webners, and immediately she upset the well-oiled rhythms of our household.  For one thing, she follows Kasey around wherever Kasey goes — no surprise there, dogs are pack animals and Kasey’s the leader of the pack — and Kasey clearly finds it unnerving.  At heart, Kasey’s a loner . . . which is why seeking some solitude behind boots and shoes seems like a good idea.  And, of course, when tiny puppies are around you worry about accidents, and chewing, and stains, and curious little pooches getting trapped in inaccessible areas where they can’t get out and you can’t get in.

Who’d have thought that an impossibly cute eight-pound bundle of fur could cause such chaos?

Today the upset will end, as Paisley heads up to her new home in Hamtramck and Kasey gets to get some sleep and slide back into her leisurely lifestyle.  

A New Pup in The Family

Russell and Emily decided to get a pooch to add to their household, which already includes a cat.  We’ve become big fans of rescue dogs — Kasey taught us an important lesson there — so today Kish drove down to Athens to pick up Paisley, a beagle mix.  (Kasey’s taught us a good lesson there, too.)

I’m not sure if Paisley will keep that moniker, but I do know one thing — puppies are cute, no matter what their name.

Zeke Of The Rescue Dogs

I rooted for former OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott as he tore through the Big Ten, I cheered as he gashed Wisconsin and Alabama with long, soul-crushing runs, and I chanted “Zeke, Zeke” as he ran for multiple scores to secure Ohio State’s national championship win against Oregon.

1476732655-ns_17zekespca05spBut now I like him even more.

Elliott, who was the first-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys this year, has been tearing it up in the NFL, too.  But the story that really caught my eye was this one, about Elliott making a big donation to help Texans adopt rescue dogs from the SPCA of Texas shelter.  It turns out that Zeke is a big-time dog lover — big enough to contribute $10,000 to the SCPA, propose an event that would encourage families to take a dog that wants a home, and then personally show up to escort the dogs to their adopted families and give them a special treat.

Zeke’s got the right idea.  I wish more people would look at adopting rescue dogs.  My brother-in-law is a dog lover who always gets his dogs from the animal shelter, and he’s right about that.  Our current dog Kasey was a rescue dog, and she’s been a terrific addition to our family.

Rescue dogs don’t deserve to be penned up in a kennel and run the risk of being put down because of space issues.  They deserve a home, and people who adopt them might end up getting a really great dog, as we did.  As Russell points out, many purebred dogs have health problems — that’s often a by-product of the inbreeding — whereas mutts usually don’t.  But the mutts are dogs just the same, and happy to hang with people and share their hearths and homes.

As I said, Zeke’s got the right idea.  If you’re looking for a dog, won’t you look first at the local animal shelter or SPCA facility?