It was one year ago that we went on a long drive, stayed overnight in a hotel (we prefer camping), met the caring staff of a West Virginia Humane Society and were introduced to a deaf Australian Cattle Dog mix named Azule.
There was a Petfinder listing that I saw about a young Australian Cattle Dog who was deaf. When I contacted the Humane Society I was told how wonderful Azule was and that she had quickly become a staff favorite (I later learned that the staff feels that way about all the animals they help!). At that time, I was also told that a local couple had expressed an interest in her and would likely be adopting her to join their Australian Shepherd.
A couple of weeks later I received an e-mail asking if I was still interested, since Azule had been returned through no fault of hers. Seemed that one half of the couple wasn't as willing to have a deaf dog. Oh yes, I was still interested and a few phone calls later, we had made plans to head down to West Virginia.
I will likely never forget the enthusiasm Azule showed when we first met. She came running around the corner and literally flew into me. Quite the greeting! For a young deaf dog that had been turned in as a stray, she was a very happy and confident pup. She continues to have that enthusiastic outlook on life and is a very happy girl.
Life with a deaf dog has been relatively easy. I quickly discovered that Azule is very smart and easily caught on to the outside light flashing twice as a signal to come in and when it is daylight, she will notice the other dogs heading for the door and follow. She also quickly learned hand signals, her favorite being the signal for "up" so she can pretend she is small enough to be a lap dog. Australian Cattle Dogs are known as "velcro" dogs due to their desire to be close to their person. Azule certainly has that trait! She loves to be close and to be a part of everything.
It has been a wonderful year and I look forward to many, many more years of fun with my velcro girl Azule!