My baby Charlie is the light of my life. The day my husband and I got Charlie we didn’t know then that he would change our lives. We knew when we went to look at Charlie that he had some specialties. The previous owners said they thought he was deaf or couldn’t hear well, something was wrong with his vision and he had a cleft lip. We took him with all the love and understanding of his specialties, and almost a year later I can’t remember our lives without him.
1. How do you talk to him?
Telepathically. No I’m joking. We have our own language. Charlie can tell when we don’t feel good or when are upset with something he has done. We don’t need to use words to talk to him he just knows us and we know him. We taught him sign language for basic commands like sit and no, but I think communicating with your dog is a lot more than commands and trick. I believe its love and understanding.
2. They have no quality of life.
That statement actually came from a veterinarian. Completely blew my mind. Right after we got Charlie my first mission (after buying him everything cute in the dog section at TJ Maxx) was to find him a vet. I called a semi popular pet hospital in Florida where we lived at the time, and what I heard next astounded me. After talking with the vet about what we thought was wrong with Charlie the vet informed me that if he was in fact deaf they would not vaccinate or care for him, but instead push for euthanization. After a long pause of silence on my part trying to process what had just been said the vet proceeded to tell me that they feel animals without hearing have no quality of life and they won’t prolong their life with routine care. Ugh Do What? Telling me my dog has no quality of life would be like telling a mom of a child that is deaf that because their child can’t hear they aren’t going to have a quality of life. No teaching him basic things won’t be easy. No training him won’t be like training a “normal” dog. That doesn’t make me love him any less or make him worth any less. He is perfect to me whether he can hear me or not.
3. He’s just a dog.
I’m sure every pet parent has heard this, and I’m sure each of them get just as tore up as I do. My husband and I do not have children yet, but we pretty much consider Charlie our first. He is the first thing I think of when planning a weekend away. Saying hello and giving him “I missed you cuddles,” is the first thing I do when I get home. Walking into TJ Maxx and going straight to the dog section to see if I can find anything for Charlie instead of myself. He’s not JUST a dog he is my heart, he is my fur baby, my pet child and the center of my world (along with my husband).
4. So can he not hear anything…?
No he can not hear anything. He can’t hear you talk to him. He can’t hear you say his name or yell come here. My husband and I both still talk to him even though we know he can’t hear us it’s the thought that counts. In a way I am glad he was born that way because he doesn’t know any different. He doesn’t know what it’s like to hear or that he is missing anything not hearing is his normal, and we love him just the way he is hearing or not.
5. He’s retarded/ugly.
Nothing burns my britches more than someone saying he is dumb or retarded. He is different. He was born the way God wanted him to be and he is perfect in all his specialties. I wouldn’t trade him for any other dog. Training him is a little different and getting his attention is a little difficult, but every training session every blog read and study done is worth it for him. He learns in his own way, and we love him in our own way.