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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet Treasure

"Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him."
Paulo Coelho

Ok, so just who is the White Dog that inspired this blog?  Treasure is a 4-year-old Sheltie.  Her coloring is called double merle.  Yes, she is a beautiful and not commonly seen color for a sheltie, but it is the result of an irresponsible breeding.  When two dogs carrying the merle gene are bred together, some puppies get a double dose of the dominant merle gene.  These genes often cause the puppies to have genetic defects which prevent them from having normal vision and/or hearing.  That means that many puppies are born blind, deaf, or both (like Treasure).  These merle/merle issues can also happen in other breeds.  Here is some interesting reading about double merle dogs.
Treasure is able to see big flashes of light.  For example, she can sense the flash on the camera if we are indoors, and she can see the porch light flash on and off to tell her to come inside from the yard at night (if she is standing close enough to the house).  She will find her way to a room where the light is on at night when the rest of the house is dark.  And she notices when I turn off the light at bedtime.  She cannot see objects or movement and will sometimes bump into things, or us.  She is not able to hear, but she responds very quickly to any new vibration in her environment.  Her sense of smell is simply amazing.  She can also tell if someone is passing her and in which direction by feeling the air currents move around her and the vibrations on the ground near her.  This took her a little while to figure out, but now she's very good at it.
Watching Treasure and how she uses her senses makes me realize how much of my environment I take for granted because I rely so much on my sight and hearing.  My other senses tend to take a back seat.  Now I try to remember to take time to notice the more subtle information in my day to day life.  It makes me more aware of all that goes on around me and the hidden possibilities that I am often too pre-occupied to notice. 

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