This is Abby.
I’ve posted about Abby before. She’s quite a character.
Abby is what is known as a Double Merle Aussie . To read more about DM Aussies, this is a good site. Although this site refers to Double Merles as “Lethal White,” I believe that name perpetuates the inaccuracies and myths associated with this label. We don’t use that name in our house and I get a little prickly when someone I’m speaking with uses it.
Abby standing on the sofa looking out the window.
Abby’s Silly Grin
Abby is white, but there is nothing lethal about her. She is actually a Red Merle and you can tell that from the small patch of red on her butt. She is primarily deaf, but we know that she can hear some sounds that are very loud and at a higher pitch than a normal voice, and she is blind. She wasn’t completely blind when we got her — she could see movement, light and dark, and “blobs.”
Abby was abandoned when she was approximately 18 months old – maybe younger. I believe her owners thought she was cute as a puppy but found out as she got older that dogs need guidance and training. This is especially important with Australian Shepherds because they are so intelligent and strong willed — but it is more challenging when your pup is deaf and visually limited.
Abby at Diane’s House
We found Abby through So Cal Aussie Rescue. Abs, as she is known in our pack circle, lived with a really nice foster mom by the name of Diane. To this day, Diane and I are friends. I admire the work she does and the person she is and I think she likes that I’ve been a good Mom to Abby and our home ended up being Abby’s “forever home.”
Back to Abby — she has a lot of nicknames…names she can’t hear…but all of us have our favorite name for her. Dora the Explorer. Baby Beluga. Abbadabba. Aberdeen. Freak of Nature. But she’ll respond to whatever you call her as long as you touch the top of her head and give her the “come” here sign.
Wearing goggles to protect her eyes.
Over the past year, her vision has begun to diminish and what little bit she had come to rely on has started to fail her. The anxiety this caused her really disrupted the household for awhile. She needed constant reassurance, the Thunder Shirt didn’t ease her fears, and lights had to be left on everywhere — all night. Finally, the vet suggested Doggie Paxil. That has worked. She can now sleep, we only need nightlights for her to sleep by and she doesn’t feel the need to claw her way into our laps every second.
Synchronized Snoozing with Bruin.
The Spouse had a couple of DM Aussies when he was growing up – so he is the perfect Dad for Abby. He is patient with her and anticipates her challenges. I’ve learned a lot from him and from Abby. I’ve even made the decision that our next dog will once again be a special needs pup. I think we’re a good home for dogs with special needs.
Abby…close up and personal.
And…my life needs special…who’s doesn’t?
Me & Abby