Casey Gets Rescued – Happy Tail written by Molly Schroeer

A little over a week ago I received a call from a friend of a friend that asked us if we were still involved with rescuing dogs and asked if we still had our two border collies. She mentioned there was a beautiful male border collie at the shelter and asked if we would consider adopting another dog. She mentioned the border collie at the shelter was estimated to be around three years old. She also said they had no history or story on the dog.

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For the next three days all I could think about was that darn phone conversation about the border collie in the shelter. I would look at my dogs and think how could anyone leave a border collie like my babies at a depressing shelter? The more I thought about the dog, the more I kept to myself. I actually lost sleep and had anxiety thinking about the dog’s situation. I realized considering an older border collie (a dog we don’t know anything about) could end up being a HUGE a challenge. Could we handle the time and commitment to train a shelter dog? I kept asking myself if we could afford to feed another dog. I also kept thinking I do know the border collie breed well and had raised two beautiful perfect border collies so it might just work out.

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I  personally felt like I would be diligent about the training but I have to admit I cringed at the thought of asking my hubby about adopting another dog. I knew my kids would be on board with adding another dog to our family. After many discussions and a lot of sleepless nights, we all caved and decided to adopt the border collie at the shelter. My family and I ventured over four hours to meet the little border collie who had no back story. When we got to the shelter, we waited for the shelter staff to bring him outside to meet us. Our first glance of him we all thought he was just adorable! Looking at his sweet face it was like he was smiling at us. When our eyes met, I got the feeling in my heart he had a story (although it might not be a good story). I could tell this sweet pup had a story just from looking his sweet gaze. Close up he looked like a dog who might have Demodex mange because the shelter had shaved him to get rid of all the matted fur. The bad news was the shelter did a bad hair cut probably because they have volunteers who groom the shelter dogs. The staff left big patches all over the poor pup. He kind of looked like he had been in a cage match with a weed eater!

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Another thing we noticed was the pup was filthy and he smelled so bad! We could see from the sheer joy in his eyes he was a people dog for sure. The sweet pup rolled right over for a bell rub when we approached him. My family and I had fifteen minutes to decide if we were going to commit to this poor dog and take him home with us. Finally we totally caved and told the shelter staff we would adopt him.  As we made our way to our car in the shelter parking lot the kids noticed our new dog was not reacting to them or any noises they were making. As soon as the kids mentioned the dog might be deaf, I ran back to ask the staff if the dog was deaf. They had no idea the dog was deaf and denied anything of the sort. Maybe they had not spent enough time with the dog trying to call the dog.

Since we were in a hurry and on a time crunch, we rushed to the car and we all piled in to head home. Once we got home, we realized this poor deaf dog knew nothing of living inside in a home. It seemed like he was’t familiar with being off a chain so for him just to running around a yard loose seemed pretty exciting. He also had no idea what doggy toys were. It made us sad to think of someone neglecting this poor deaf dog but it was joyful at the same time to see how excited he was getting running around the yard and discovering toys.

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After some time at his new home, we decided to give him a much needed bath. We asked a friend of ours who happens to be a great dog trainer to come over and work some of her training magic. She confirmed the dog was deaf. She also realized the pup was watching her body language and actually knew some sign commands.

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After the training session, we noticed the dog was slightly off in his back end and probably had hip issues. We were moved to tears to realize this little neglected deaf dog was going to receive some much needed love, patience, and medical care. Now he would have a new chance at a happy life. Our family is committed and will do whatever it takes to help our new deaf dog flourish. All of us will learn the sign commands, learn more about training our new deaf pup, and work on his medical issues.

Right now he seems a bit confused but who wouldn’t be confused at this point? This deaf dog deserves love and kindness. He is now part of our family and as a family we will work together to try to repair all the damage done by his previous owners. I feel like right now, in this moment in time, this pup is tattered and worn but so am I. Maybe we can heal together and go shopping for new sweaters. Maybe just maybe it will be a “Who rescued who?” scenario.

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The next few weeks will be a lot of work for our family to adjust and for this sweet soul of a dog to settle in learn so many new things. Can you imagine what might be going through his little head? He must be thinking “not all humans are bad…who knew?”

This dog was so stressed in the shelter environment and now everything seems upside down coupled with a new family he has to learn our daily routine. He seems happy so far and we see him project doggy smiles often (along with lots of tail wags). Sometimes he will sneak up on me, plant a very gentle kiss on my hand, and I will see a little tail wag so I know we are heading in the right direction.

Our family “hears” him loud and clear and he is saying “thank you!”
This week we will ask the Vet about the percentage of hearing loss in our new dog. We are not sure what tests can be run or if they will be accurate, but we are armored up for whatever battles ensue to fight for Casey’s best interests.  This little deaf border collie has brought such joy to our family already.

We could not love our deafie more.  I have faith our little dog will triumph!

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention his new name! Meet Casey everyone! Little dog, BIG heart. Our new love.

They are right when they say “Deaf Dogs Hear With Their Hearts”.

Thanks for reading Casey’s Happy Tail and Rescue story!

Molly and Casey Schroeer