Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm not deaf, I'm ignoring you

I have seen that on bumpers, on chests, and in various places before.

We all slow down, loose function and faculty.  Eventually we see it in ourselves.  I suppose one possible reason why we have pets is that we can find out in ourselves how we will manage if and when something happens to us.

I personally have had two major accidents in my life, and recovered from each being a hairsbreadth of being paralyzed or worse.   People around me have helped me get back on my feet, nagged me about "therapy" and watched as I got to the point where skating on inline skates I managed to rack up almost 21000 miles.

Then there's Mrs Dog.  A while back she had an episode.  There's no better word for it, no more specific way to say it.  I couldn't point to a specific food, a specific incident that caused it to happen.  In the middle of the night I heard, loud enough to wake me through those orange earplugs I wear, a yell of pain.  I got up, sat with her, and she seemed not quite right.  By the time the sun came up, I got her to the Vet and she was put on pain pills, glucosamine, among other things.   The neighborhood watched me basically carry her by holding up her harness as she fought to walk and do her daily business for a couple weeks. 

She got better but now there's a nag in the back of my mind that says it could happen again.   Enjoy her while you can, she's 10 and that's middle aged in dog years by most calculations.  Like you or I being 60 to 70, it depends on "how well you took care of yourself" in the prior decades.

She sleeps a lot, her snoring woke me up this morning instead of the head on the side of the bed with a wagging tail that shakes me awake.  I see no problems with her walking, in fact today she decided with a strong will that we'd walk a long walk.   It was cool, in fact it was almost chilly at 72 before the sun came up, and that always gives her more energy.

Fairly normal.  She doesn't seem "ill" and at 10 I expect at least another 5 years with her.

Between mugs of coffee and bogging the PC down, I walked out front and basically sniffed the air.   Of course, my constant companion followed me.  She went out the door at my left shin, walked down the one and only step from under the porch, and sniffed the morning cool.  She's ahead of me and not looking my way, all of 6 feet from me.   After a few minutes of this, I called her name about a dozen times.  No reaction at all.  In fact until she happened to scan her head enough to see me wag my hand at her, she had no idea I was calling her.

Deaf as a post.

Or was she?   Across the street I saw Lisa and her dog Baby.  Baby is a female Pitbull, a Red Nosed Pit I believe.   She's also one of the sweetest dogs on the planet.  Definitely not as smart as Lettie is but a sweet companion nonetheless.  Baby is a dog that is an ambassador for the breed, like that of Cesar Millan's "Daddy", she's an amazingly sweet dog that had been through a lot before they got her.  Lisa started chuckling at me and I said "She must be getting deaf".   Lisa laughed and said "She's not deaf, she's ignoring you".

She may not be completely deaf, but she's certainly hard of hearing.  The strange thing about that is that she hears when she wants to.  If I'm saying the word "Cookie" in a normal sentence, she'll perk up.   So I know it is "selective".  You know, like what you do when you're reading the paper or the web and someone wants to tell you something inane about leaving dishes in the sink or something like that.

Great, in this island of Large Personalities, I have a Selectively Deaf Border Collie with a Masters in Snoring!

Funny though, if I turn the radio up too loud, she hears that.   I don't know if it is the buzzing you get when your hearing is going or if she just is judging the music I like but she gets up and walks into the back room and lays on the mat there instead of next to me.   When I turn it down she comes back.  

Cause and Effect can be an amusing thing especially when you can see it clearly.

The last time she was at the Vet, just a little while back, they looked at her and pronounced her recovery remarkable and she was "Normal for a dog of her age".   Great... that's like doing a survey and having to tick the box that says "50+" for the first time.

For now I'll enjoy her.  She's sleeping or rather was until she realized that I was watching her sleep.

Funny how they always know isn't it?

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