Since this is Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week AND ALSO Deaf Pet Awareness Week, it seemed appropriate to check in with my friend, Michele–who shares her life with less adoptable pets, deaf Boxers.
Last year, Michele was dealing with the news that her Boxer, Cooper, had been diagnosed with Stage III Mast Cell Cancer. And also adjusting to adding a 4th Boxer to her pack — Mason — because Michele failed Foster 101. Both Cooper and Mason are deaf.
Michele tells me, “In the past year, Mason has learned over 20 signs but his favorite sign is ‘good boy.’ People who see us walking always ask about him and his deafness when we sign; they say they would have never thought a dog could communicate through sign. I also still get calls from people who have deaf dogs. And also from people who realize their old dogs are going deaf. And I think my old girl is losing her hearing some too — she startles a lot more as she is getting older — but she knows the signs, so we communicate.”
Michele goes on,
So a little over a year has passed since our lives were touched by a new Boxer in the house, can I just say it’s been a whirlwind!
Bailey, Cooper, Geddy and Mason are all sleeping on my bed as I write this update. Sleep is what Cooper does most of his days now. The vet is completely astonished that we still have him in our lives and he is doing as well as he can. The cancer has spread to some organs but he seems to be still happy when he’s awake and will take any opportunity to lie on my lap…. Which of course no matter what weight loss he has had, he’s still a BIG boy!
Our Bailey has had two tumors removed from her this past year, both were benign which is a blessing, however she had her shoulder injured last fall with a run in with our crazy pup and her arthritis has really kicked in. She still runs the roost and is the Queen around this house!
Geddy is still our sweet boy and has enjoyed Mason the most since we got him. They are the best and worst of friends… we call it the love hate relationship as Mason gets the most pleasure out of torturing Geddy!
Then there is Mason…. Or as we like to say, the DEMON SPAWN! Oh yes, I have to say he’s tested my patience this past year! He’s every Boxer owners nightmare with bad behaviors… he’s mouthy, he loves to destroy toys… he’s torn up any toy I can find, which includes the ones that say SUPER TOUGH or UNCHEWABLE! That makes me laugh when I bring them back the next day. He was a challenge to get him crate trained, to not chew on everything he could in our house and walk on a leash without wanting to chew it up also!
He also is my youngest son’s best friend, who will wait by the window every day without fail 5 minutes before he gets off the bus. He will fall asleep with him at night and slowly creep out of his bed once he’s asleep as to not wake him up and he has the sweetest face anyone could imagine. He has a special sense about him when the older dogs are not feeling good, always “trying” to be on is best behavior or giving them extra kisses on the head when they are laying down. He is so smart, sometimes too much for his own good, but he has learned so many signs, he knows the routines when we leave or go to bed and although he was this little guy when we got him, he towers over all the other dogs with his gangly “pup” legs! He is a blessing and as I look over on the bed, his head resting on the back of my Cooper, I realize he’s brought new life into Cooper as well and may just be what’s helping us keep our house full of Boxers!
Both Mason and Cooper were classified early on as “less adoptable dogs.” How lucky for them that Michele saw their potential. And how lucky for Michele and her family. These two sweet boys are well-loved members of Michele’s family. They just communicate with their human pack members in a slightly different way.
Not less adoptable. Totally more adaptable.
If you’re interested in more information on what great pets deaf dogs can make,
visit Deaf Dogs Rock.