Answers (part 1) Alaska and CowBelle

Hello again!

I had planned this section the blog to be a video response, but I haven’t gotten the nerve up yet to make the videos. Its hard for me to get past how awkward I feel on camera! So I’m going to start writing the answers out because youve all waited a very long time!! (Read the original post here)

How did Cowbelle and Alaska come into your lives? Are you fostering them or did you adopt them? How is the new house working out? ~Cissy

Lets start with Alaska since shes older and has been here longer! Alaska came into my life quite by accident. I didnt intend to take her and I really didnt intend to keep her. But I quickly realized that she needed Teddy as much as Teddy needs her. The two of them bonded so quickly that it was quite amazing given Teddy’s usual fear of new dogs.

Alaska is a very very shy dog and was not doing very well in her former home. It wasn’t a good fit for either of them and we’ll just leave it at that.

I paid a re-homing fee for Alaska last year on September 8th 2014 so she is 100% ours! : )

Right now Alaska is attending private lessons to boost her confidence and I do believe someday that she will make a great library reading dog. She loves children with all her little doggy heart and loves to meet new people!! She is a gentle dog and loves to just lay down and have her belly petted.

CowBelle has an interesting story. Shortly after we moved here to the new house Dad was at the local gas station and a man there was giving away a puppy that he had gotten without the permission of the person he lived with. Dad said he would take the puppy and told the man where to bring her. A few hours later he pulled up in our yard and passed Dad the puppy over the fence and left. Thats all we know about where she came from. She was emaciated to the point she could hardly hold up her own head and we quickly realized she needed medical attention. She spent the night at the ER vet and then a few days at the vet on an IV and medicines.

She had puppy strangles, worms, a stomach infection, and giardia. Its a miracle that she wasn’t worse. I spent the first week she was here worried that she would pass away at any time. But CowBelle proved to be a fighter! She pulled thru and with some setbacks along the way grew into a beautiful girl from an adorable puppy.

About 4 months after she was given to us we realized that something just wasn’t quite right about her. No matter how hard I had tried she never learned her name, she wouldn’t come when called, she didnt respond to any vocal queues at all. We found a vet who could do BAER testing on her and discovered that while she did have some hearing it was considered “not useful” hearing. Compared to a normal range of hearing for a dog she has very little hearing. And the vet also wondered if being so sick hadn’t mixed up something in her brain that prevented her from understanding what she does her. She has scars on her ear drums from the puppy strangles as a baby and likely had an ear infection before we had her that was left untreated and caused damage.

I believe that she likely has an auditory processing disorder although I am not sure such a thing technically exists for dogs, its just the best way Ive found to explain what she experiences. 9 times out of 10 she cannot hear anything at all. She feels vibrations, she watches for shadows, she smells changes in the air, etc. etc. But normal sounds have no effect on her whatsoever. When she does seem to ‘hear’ something it usually freaks her out. Its like she has no idea whats going on.

Of course this didn’t change anything except for now we train her using more hand signals and luring.

Teddy, Alaska and CowBelle are very very tightly bonded. CowBelle relies on Teddy and Alaska to hear things for her, and they watch out for her. She sleeps touching them so shes never left behind.

Our new house and property is the biggest blessing we have ever received!!!! The kids are so much more at peace and relaxed here! They loved to go outside and lay in the sun and play without being afraid! I dont have to worry about trouble if they bark while playing or if they are noisy. We live in such a rural area it wouldn’t bother anyone if they wanted to bark at each other or me. They get much more time outside to play (especially now that its warming up) and they just love it.

All of our neighbors keep to themselves and own dogs as well so its really nice.

I personally love it here. We are just so blessed.

Thank you all for reading and for continuing to be a part of the kids lives! Keep an eye out for the next post!


Categories: Questions Answered, Training For Alaska | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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