Plot Twist On The New Dog

When your child comes with his very own life-long disability, you learn to roll with life pretty quickly. Often, it's not because you want to, but because you have to. And life gets re-prioritized, too. What you once thought was a big deal, you now realize isn't so much. I mean, who cares if your son wears a poodle skirt into town? He dressed himself, and that's a huge step.

Rolling and re-prioritizing. It's what life is about. Some of us are just on a steeper learning curve than others.

That being said, when Micah decided to re-name his dog, I waffled. She was just changed from Dixie to Fiona, and now he wants to name her Darla. She'll be the most confused dog ever. An individual needs some consistency, after all. It's hard enough adjusting to a new life without knowing who you are.

Fiona/Darla/WhoeverSheIs is an interesting dog. While she's too stubborn to raise her head when intently eating bugs in the lawn, it's a happy kind of stubborn. It's like she lives in her own bubble world, with butterflies and rainbows and unicorns. She's oblivious to things around her, and just focused on whatever makes her tail wag at the moment.

Maybe that's what prompted me to start looking at the situation more closely. I retraced the past 2 weeks, and looked at incidents with new eyes. I came to the conclusion that the dog doesn't hear well. I spent a few hours conducting random tests, like snapping at each ear as she slept, and dropping a heavy object at the other end of the room. I had others make loud noises behind her as I held her, and we discussed how she lacked reaction of any kind.

Guys, this is the perfect dog for us. Our disabled son has his very own disabled dog. We are pretty sure that Fiona is completely deaf. This is a plot twist, of course, but nothing we can't roll with. And it's even better, because now Micah can change her name any time he wants. It's not going to confuse the dog at all. We may never know who he's talking about, but that's beside the point.

Darla, as she'll be called until further notice, is going to teach us a whole lot, just like her owner does. We're already re-learning how to interact with her, and to teach her basic things like NO and DOWN. Words just aren't going to cut it, and that's sad because I have perfected the Mom Voice after 22 years of parenting. Even the dogs respect that voice, and heed my commands when they hear it. I'll have to up my game with the Stink Eye, I guess.

I know many people with deaf dogs, which is probably what set me to thinking this might be the problem with Darla's stubbornness. I have resources to tap into and learn from, and that's all anyone can ask for. A good support system is golden, whether it's for your children or their pets. We're moving forward, because life doesn't stop to allow you to process things. And really, this isn't anything new to Darla. I'm taking her happy cue and wagging my tail as we navigate the unknown ahead of us.




3 comments:

Aimee said...

Awe, little Darla is a rose (sweet by any other name). I'm glad that you were able to figure this out about her so she can live happily.

Cindy said...

Such a sweet dog and it seems like she'll fit right in with your family. Great job for picking up on the cues and getting her checked!

M. K. Clinton said...

She's a lucky girl and will be a wonderful best friend!