When we teach our dogs basic commands like sit, stay, or rollover, we usually use a mix of both verbal cues and hand gestures to get them to understand what we want them to do.
But what if you had to teach your dog commands, but couldn’t use either verbal cues or hand gestures – what would you do then?
Calamity is a 2-year-old double merle Australian Shepherd living in Port Deposit, Maryland with her owner, Amanda Fuller. Calamity has mastered basic commands as well as some cool tricks, but unlike most other dogs, she learned them entirely without sight or sound.
Calamity was born deaf. A year after birth, she lost her sight. Naturally, Amanda was devastated when Calamity went blind. However, Calamity didn’t let her blindness slow her down.
As Amanda explained, “Calamity is a double merle dog, which means her parents were two merle dogs. In a double merle, the lightening effect is doubled, and the coat becomes predominantly white, they also have a high chance of being deaf, blind or both because they lack pigment where it would normally be.”
Calamity is the same as other dogs and Amanda wrote, “She understands stairs, she waits to be released from the car, she waits at the door to go outside, she plays with toys and other dogs. She does everything you’d expect a dog to do, she just does it without being able to see or hear.”
Her owner devoted herself to finding ways to communicate and teach the super-smart Calamity tricks through touch cues.
“It took us a while to figure out a new normal, but now that we have, it’s like she’s always been this way and nothing ever happened,” posted Amanda.
A viral video shows Calamity sitting, shaking, and spinning in a circle, as well as leaping into Amanda’s arms. Amanda has said that even though the ways she teaches Calamity are different, they’re not any harder.
Amanda still employs tasty treats as a reward for her efforts, but rather than using her voice or a hand gesture to cue Calamity, she uses her touch.
“Sometimes we figure things out that I never thought were possible, like off-leash rally obedience,” stated Amanda.
And there is no slowing these two down any time soon, as Amanda plans on teaching Calamity even more cues and some even from a distance.
She posted, “Special needs dogs exist, they’re capable, they’re smart, and they deserve the chance to play and have fun as ‘normal’ dogs do.”
Amanda went on to say, “Dogs, unlike us, adapt beautifully and have no clue they’re different.”
Amanda has two double merle dogs, Keller and Calamity, who are deaf and deaf/blind. Amanda even began the non-profit, Keller’s Cause, as a means of raising awareness as well as helping to rescue, and train double merles and other dogs with special needs. Amanda hopes to inspire others to adopt special needs dogs, which is important because deep down they’re the same as any other dog.
Check out the video of Calamity below:
Clam and I doing some of her favorite tricks!Since she is deaf and blind, we communicate through touch cues!*Disclaimer: This content is exclusively managed by Caters News Agency. To license or use in a commercial player please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)121 616 1100 / +1 646 380 1615
Posted by Keller & Calamity The Deaf Double Merle Duo on Friday, December 13, 2019