Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Duggan, impaired but not disabled

Duggan is our most recent Green Dogs foster. He arrived on Monday. He is a nine month old owner surrender ("didn't have time for the dog") to a shelter that wasn't going to put him up for adoption because he's partially blind.

Yes, he's partially blind. He sometimes runs into things if he's moving too fast and not paying attention with his other senses. But he looks and acts like a pretty typical nine month old shepherd pup. Most black German Shepherds I've seen in the past several years have had some sort of genetic malady, the most frequent being insanity. Some backyard breeder gets a pair of black shepherds and breeds the offspring to their siblings or back to their parents in order to produce more black shepherds to sell and big surprise, you get genetic problems. Duggan is probably lucky that vision impairment seems to be his only problem.

It's hard to call it a disability, however, when you see the dog run, play, and interact with other dogs in a perfectly normal manner. We tend to think of ourselves as biologically superior to dogs because of the size of our brain. But have you ever wondered how they must view us? I can totally see Maya thinking this about me: "My poor daddy only has two legs, and no tail at all! He can only see if he's wearing glasses and his ears - he can't even control them to point them where he wants to listen. On top of that, his nose is virtually worthless. I don't know how he managed before I came along."

Compared to human disabilities, vision impairment in a dog is no big deal and certainly won't prevent Duggan from a full and happy canine life.

That's Duggan in the center with his paw on
Trooper's back trying to climb over him. That's
Theo checking him out from behind.
He rides well in a crate in the car and he's definitely dog-friendly. I paired him up with just Rex initially and the two of them were having a good time together. Today I brought them both over the dog yard where they got to meet and play with Trooper and Theo as well. Next week Rex has his next round of heartworm treatment so he will go back on crate rest, leaving Theo as the primary puppy-sitter for Duggan. He's recently neutered and up to date on vaccines and he's available for adoption now through Green Dogs Unleashed.

Trooper in front, Duggan in the middle, Theo in back,
and Rex on the right. 

Gigi was not a fan, but no one would
expect her to be. He liked her though.

Duggan was quite fond of Theo, of course.
Theo was very tolerant but he decked him with a body slam
a couple of times. Duggan just got up and resumed play.


Johanna Breder said...

I think Duggan is adorable! I wish more people realized that blind dogs function absolutely fine!

Anonymous said...

Lucky Duggan. He's a handsome dude too.