We all have our challenges. To a blind and deaf dog climbing up is the easy part. Figuring how to get down the hard part. Jamie being still a pup when I brought him home was very inquisitive. He would climb up on the sofa or chair and then cry for me to come and take him down. For Jamie, they were his Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Everest. Once he conquered getting up and down, they no longer have an interest to him.
Tomorrow, how I taught him to climb down.
Jamie does not know he is disabled. He just knows he is a two year old that likes to explore and play. Jamie especially loves his Bark Box that comes every month. When I bring in the mail and set it on the counter, Jamie will bark at it until I open it and give him a toy. He delights in the new toys and often, like children, the old ones are cast aside. Rarely does he destroy a toy.
This months Bark Box had a stuffed anteater. Jamie has been playing with it for a couple days when his brother Grady decided he wanted it. This is what happened.
I will have to say, the anteater did not come out alive!
Going back a bit to his first birthday, I decided to play up that he was named after a Scottish character from the Outlander series, James Alexander Malcolm Mckensie Fraser. To celebrate turning two, I made Jamie his very own kilt. As every Scot knows, it is an honor to wear the tartan of your family. Jamie’s kilt is of his mother’s family, Mckensie.
At the same time, I had Jamie’s DNA tested. His original paperwork said he was poodle and cocker mix, written at the mill he came from. I am thinking they did not want to admit that he is a double merle. Jamie’s DNA sample came back that he is 100% American Cocker Spaniel. It is my understanding that the first American cocker spaniels came over on the Mayflower and are all related.
As they would say on the Johnny Carson show………………………..”here’s” JAMIE!!!
By summer 2017, all of Jamie’s issues were winding down. The daily “poop fest” was a rarity, his barking was close to average for any dog, the circles had disappeared!!!! Yeah!!!! Some nights he was sleeping all night, ………………Mama got zzzzzzz! Then something new happened.
Jamie, like clockwork, would wake at 2 am and cry to go out. I would get up and take him out, only for him to walk to the farthest part of the yard and sit down. His nose would reach up to the sky and he would just sit and smell the crisp air. He actually was beautiful and he so very much enjoyed it. Only problem was, it was 2 am and I needed to sleep. It was a simple pleasure for him. I let it go on for awhile, but realized it needed to stop, I needed sleep to get through my day. So, every night when he did this, I would march across the yard and bring him in not letting him stay even one minute.
I am now “allowed” to sleep 7 hours. James, aka: Jamie, wakes up after 7 hours. If I go to bed at 11 pm, he wakes me at 6 am. If I go to bed at 11:30 pm, he wakes me at 6:30 am. I really have no clue how he knows………….
More about the precious lad next time.
April 21, 2017 was Jamie’s first birthday. He had been with me 3.5 months and SOME things were coming together. He was doing fewer circles and barking was down by more than a half. He was still waking me at night to go potty, but even that was down to once a night.
Then he started waking me many times a night again. When it hit 7 times in one night, and I was a walking zombie, I took him to the vet again. Another urine sample and culture, but no UTI this time. I could not live like this and obviously something was wrong with James. I asked for a blood test to be done. The next day we had it, Jamie had an infection. We started on a 3 week course of antibiotics. Finally, we got to the root of the problem. Sleep, heavenly, sleep!!!!!
Tomorrow……………….the moon and stars.
If life were a card game, you might say Jamie was dealt a bad hand. There are some positive things here because many dogs like Jamie are destroyed before they are weaned. Jamie is a handsome guy and because of that, he was destined to be a stud. Fortunately for Jamie, he got sick so was given up for rescue which allowed him to be treated for his illness and adopted.
Jamie is a double merle (MM), also called homozygous double merle, meaning both his parents possessed the merle gene. Twenty five percent or one in four dogs born of double merle parents will have hearing and or eye issues. They range from, slight to totally deaf and blind.
Jamie has microphthalmia or small eye. You can see one of his eyes, it is about the size of the tip of a ball point pen. He moves it about, often appearing that he is following me. The other eye just appears to be tissue. I think Jamie may see some light and darkness, but I can not be sure. He has congenital hearing loss. He can hear a few sounds. I have four other dogs, he can hear one bark. Jamie can hear a train whistle, he cocks his head when it blows.
Until tomorrow…….from his book, Jamie’s Journey, on Amazon.
The last thing that Jamie did in the beginning, and will do it when super excited, is nip at your legs. When I would come home after being out, Jamie would be so excited he would be jumping all over the place and try to pull at my clothes. Instead, it was a little nip. Not break the skin nip, but pinch nip so my upper legs were black and blue. He would get you on your inner leg and we all know how that hurts. Remember, he for all practical purposes, was a puppy and puppies tend to be mouthy. Of course, the only senses he can use are feel and smell.
How did I break that? Every time he did it, I would stop and gently hold his mouth closed and push him away. Gradually he figured it out. First, he would try to move his mouth away from my hand, then I knew he understood. It did not take long and for the most part he has stopped. During times of super excitement he will do it, and I remind him. Other than the above, Jamie is the most gentle guy. His kisses are so soft and he barely touches you when taking food out of your hand.
Tomorrow, the hand life dealt him.