Is my dog deaf or is she just a bitch?
Yup, that was the question I had to ask myself a couple of years ago once I returned from studying abroad in London. My lovely chow/collie/retriever mix Tasha wasn’t as responsive as before and I just couldn’t decide whether she was being a stubborn bitch, upset that I had left her for so long, or if her old age was finally catching up to her in the form of hearing loss.
It took me a month or two but in the end I figured it out: she’s actually a bit of both. That’s right, she’s a deaf bitch. Not only is she hard of hearing, but she likes to do what she wants.
(Oh, and hey, she is a female dog so she’s a bitch even beyond her personality. You can’t yell at me for using this word when it’s accurate to the dictionary definition.)
Now being an owner of a deaf bitch isn’t too bad. For the most part she’s too lazy these days to get up to any trouble and we do a great job of communicating non-verbally. (There’s nothing like a sassy hands-on-the-hips pose to let a dog know she’s crossing the line.) The one area in which living with a deaf bitch has become a bit of a struggle though is bathroom breaks.
Oftentimes, if I’m not right at the back door as she finishes relieving herself, she will walk towards the gate entrance to the front yard and monitor what’s going on around the neighborhood. And that is fine, old guard dog for the win, but her focus on the outside of the backyard often results in her being faced in completely the wrong direction to notice me trying to call her in. As a result, I end up looking like a damn fool to the neighbors as I literally windmill my arms around and do a little dance in hopes that she’ll notice the movement out of the corner of her eye and look over to realize its time to come inside.
And it usually works… when she’s only being deaf and not being a bitch.
Even if I’m able to get past her deafness to let her know it’s time to come inside, that doesn’t mean she always comes inside. Sometimes she’ll look at me, notice my attempts, and then just stand there. And stand there. And then maybe walk away deciding “oh wait, maybe I do need to relieve myself.”
But hey, I can’t say I blame her. By the time I’m her age (83 if you go by this dog age chart) I’m going to do damn well what I please whether I’m deaf or not too. At that point I think a person has earned it.
But still, that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about the struggles of living with a deaf bitch it in a blog post, right?
Has anyone else had to experience something similar this with their pets (or even older loved ones)? I’d like to think I’m not the only person who has had to get creative as a result of such struggles. Or better yet, let me know about any other struggles you have to deal with as a result of your pets! We may love them but sometimes the struggles are real.