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.
The third Jamie issue, that led to him being returned from his first adopter, was his incessant barking. Morning, noon and all night, Jamie barked. He barked for days on end. He barked so much he gave himself laryngitis. He would open his mouth and NOTHING came out!!!! I felt guilty because I was in heaven, peace, heavenly, peace!
I was not sure which was worse, the poop, the circles or the barking. A perfect trifecta!!!! Like giving birth, I can’t remember how long it took for all three of them to go away, but they did.
Jamie has such a sweet personality. He is very loving. There was one more issue to work on. Until tomorrow, Jamie fans.
Round and round he goes, where he stops no one knows. Jamie had a form of OCD. He did circles all day long. I was told my many, how bad this was and that Jamie needed prozac. I did not believe any of it. Jamie spent the first 8 months of his life confined. While he was walked and socialized at North Shore, that only accounted for the last 2 months. The first 6 months of his life, his world was a tiny cage. Jamie could hear or see nothing out of this small box. If he wanted exercise or was bored, he could only move within the confines of his cage. As far as he was concerned, nothing existed outside of the area he could touch.
How did I get him to stop, you ask? I redirected his energy. I played with him, petted him, gave him things to chew every time I saw him going in a circle. Gradually, he recognized a world outside a 3 foot radius and began to explore. Check out his circle video below.
Tomorrow, the third reason he was returned the first time.
There was a “surprise” for me every morning. Some mornings I was luckier than others. Once in a while, he would pile the poop in a corner, so, the “daily bath” wasn’t as hard. Other times, it was caught between his toes and I had to scrub every nail.
At this point, I had started documenting his surprises, on his Jamie’s Journey FB page, with a little humor or I would have cried. He had a fan club that kept hoping I would have a day of no poop. Eventually, it started to happen.
I owe it to his UTI. For some reason, he would howl at night if he had to pee. Usually, that was about 1 am, 3 am and 5 am. Since, I was waking up to take him out, he started pooping outside too.
But……there were other issues, OCD type issues. Stayed tuned for the continuing saga……of As the James Turns.
Jamie and I had reached the end of his first day with me. It was very exciting and he is exhausted. I cannot tell you how sweet he was cuddled in my arms as he snoozed.
My bedtime approached and I took Jamie out to go potty one more time. I had decided that the best choice until I got to know him well was crating him at night. He had not mapped out the house, as of yet, and of course he was a puppy and puppies chew, so there were safety reasons. I made him a little bed and gave him a treat. I settled in for the night, but sleep was not to be had, at least for me. Jamie barked and barked most of the night. I tried taking him to bed, but he did not understand that the bed has a drop off point. Back into the crate, it was safer. Somewhere before daylight, he fell asleep, but not without leaving me a present.
How did I not know about his “gift?” I had put his crate at the far end of the house from me, so I could sleep. I opened my bedroom door and instead of coffee, I smelled poop! I go to get Jamie, he is covered in it. I took him out and drew bathwater. Now I am not a morning person, at least not before coffee, but seriously, who could have coffee when he was so full of it!!!!!!
To be continued…….
January 9th is also my grandson’s birthday. Jamie and I went straight to the party after the more than 90 minute ride home. Jamie was an excellent passenger but was very excited to be out of the car and back on his feet, at least while he was not being held.
Everyone adored this new little curly haired guy. This was, however, the calm before the storm. Continuing tomorrow……..