It has been over a year or so ago since I spoke to Jeff on the phone about his new puppy Jackson. I also was in communication with Jeff’s mom Vicki because she was worried about him and she asked me to call Jeff. She wanted me to talk to Jeff about some of the challenges he might face in the future when raising his new deaf puppy so he could be prepared. I knew Jeff would make a great deaf dog daddy and advocate for Jackson. Today it gives me great pleasure to feature Jackson’s Happy Tail written by Jeff. Thanks Jeff for taking the time to send Jackson’s story to us here at Deaf Dogs Rock and we are so happy we could help you on your amazing journey with your deaf Australian heeler Jackson. Rock on Jeff and Jackson, rock on! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
A little less than two years ago, I lost my eighteen year old Australian Blue Heeler mix. That’s when my girlfriend decided I needed a pure bred Blue Heeler for my birthday. After just four days, I had to admit to myself my new little friend was deaf.
Everyone advised me to bring him back, but I knew what would happen to this puppy if I did. Only I could save him. He needed me and I needed a dog; so Jackson Luke Skywalker became my new best friend. I alerted my family in New Orleans, and everyone began to research the situation.
My first and best contact was Deafdogsrock.com. They were able to network me through the system and I learned a lot in a short time. Also, talking to owners of dogs like Jackson gave me hope, along with training techniques and plain good advice.
In the beginning, Jackson and I were joined at the hip. It took him a year to even let me shower by myself. Now, at one and a half, he is a lot more secure. Sometimes I even forget that I am Jackson’s ears. He responds to a vibration collar and hand signals. Even my young nieces can visit and “tell” him what to do.
Over the vibrating collar, I keep a lightweight collar on him that warns “I’M DEAF” with my phone number on it. Because we live in the country and go out after I’m home from work, the collar glows in the dark. Jackson is always ready and able for anything.
We live in the wooded mountains around Aspen, Colorado. We hike, ride bikes, and camp out in the mountains. We are totally in tune. I believe there is a special bond between us because of his deafness. I took him with his special needs and now we can forget he even has any. Our timing was perfect.