Colby is our adopted special needs dog. He's a purebred Australian Cattle Dog (ACD for short) who has completely turned our lives upside down but it's completely and wonderfully acceptable.
He started out as a working dog in Virginia so he was no pet by any means. It's anybody's guess what happened to him but, somehow, he lost most of his vision and ended up in a high-kill pound. Then, along comes some wonderful doggie rescue folks who work diligently to save these sweet animals and place them in good homes.
An awesome lady who lives on a farm in Ontario takes these dogs and works with them, learning their temperaments, then finds them suitable homes. He was shipped to her by bus along with other rescue dogs and the driver reported that our Colby appeared to be rather aggressive, not realizing his loss of site was new to him. He must have been so terrified but this kind lady knew right away that his condition was recent and he didn't quite know how to deal with all that was going on in his dark world. Poor little guy.
She had him for six months and worked at helping him get accustomed to his handicap. It was discovered that some of his vision was restored but not enough to prevent him from bumping into things on occasion. When I came across his photo on her website, I read her description of his character and decided he was to be ours. I really felt he deserved a good life and we could offer him that. She told me several people who took an interest in him quickly changed their minds about owning a blind dog.
We made all the necessary arrangements and he arrived by plane in November of 2007. He's quite a handful, so full of energy but there's hardly a day that goes by where he's not making us laugh. He has some vision in one eye and can navigate quite well in the house and the backyard. Beyond our property lies a big field where he can romp and run without fear of bumping into things. It's doggie heaven.
He's a very happy guy now but I sometimes think we're the ones who are blessed. He is buddies with gentle Mike, although a bit too rambunctious for him at times. When we brought a new kitty home last summer, my fears were quickly put to rest as he was so gentle with her (even when I watched in horror as he put his entire mouth over her tiny head)! The only time she has to watch her back is when he's running to the kitchen for food and she's scrambling to get out of his path. It's all working out rather well... a bit crazy at times and certainly not dull.