Saturday, March 15, 2008

Transport #7: Jack and Tanner

When the call came out for this Aussie transport, I just couldn't resist. I

Jack is a super-sweet snuggler whom you will surely fall in love with in less time than it takes to drive a leg. So be prepared to leave a bit of your heart behind when you hand him off to the next driver.

Reading further told me that Jack was deaf, leading me to believe that he was a double merle, since deafness is common when you breed two merles together. Merle colouring, for those who don't know, is a sort of dappled colouring. It's a gorgeous colouring (you can see an example here), but it also contains a gene for eye irregularities, sometimes resulting in blindness of some sort and deafness (generally caused by inner ear hair having no pigment...this lack of pigment causes them to atrophy and die in a few weeks, resulting in deafness). Reputable breeders don't breed merles together, but others do, and so you end up with these utterly precious deaf dogs who are often dumped off at shelters when their owners discover the "problem."

Jack was indeed a super sweet snuggler. We also got the addition of the gorgeous Tanner, a 6 month old deaf Aussie. He was incredibly sweet too.

David (my partner) decided to join me for this trip. I've been wanting him to go along and today seemd like a good time to. We had plans in the morning and afternoon, which meant he wasn't likely to get much work done, and I knew he would love these two dogs. Besides, I thought I could use the help with the two dogs.

And boy could I ever! We got the dogs into the car with little difficulty. They were all too happy to go with us. We spent the first bit of time trying to calm them down. Tanner immediately was in the front seat and David got him over to the passenger seat. I kept Jack in the back with me, though that was a constant chore. As we got going, we had a few hairy moments as Tanner kept trying to get into David's lap.

But finally, we made it onto the Thruway just fine. What we discovered about the dogs was that they were both very smart. Tanner turned out to be incredibly laid back. He laid down on the front passenger seat and when David started to pet him, he just shut his eyes in pleasure and then fell asleep.

Jack spent much of the trip either throwing himself into my lap (and I do mean throwing! he was almost violent in his affection) or nibbling on my hands (which sometimes hurt -- I managed to communicate ok to him that it hurt a bit) and then finally, in the last 20 minutes or so, managed to calm down enough to sleep. Poor Jack had gotten into something recently as his hair was matted some places and he had a couple burrs in his fur. I didn't dare remove them for fear of upsetting him.

These were really special dogs and it's hard to describe them correctly. Both had amazing blue eyes with strange eye defects (starburts, dropped pupils, extremely blue eyes). They were smart, gorgeous dogs. Neither had any problem with us petting them when they couldn't see us. Neither appeared deaf, though you could tell they were by the way their ears did not move when we talked to them. But they were so smart that they picked up on small body movements.

Outside of a few hairy moments when Tanner tried to crawl into David's lap, it was a pretty easy trip. John, who was picking them up from us, called as we were arriving and we met him in a slightly different place than we expected. It worked out well though. We very sadly passed the dogs off to him (and worried a bit as he was only one person and it took both David and I to control the dogs) and went our separate ways.

David, especially was saddened to see Tanner go. He really bonded with that great dog.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures:








The rest of the collection can be found here.

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