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by Beth Jessen
Jasmine in the Snow Dec 08
I got to be the lucky forever home for Jasmine who came to me about 1 year old deaf Aussie. She knew 3 hand signs for things, but that was it. They were "potty", "good girl or yes", and "no". I changed the "no" sign to the ASL one from down thumb and she adjusted to that very well. I knew I wanted to teach her more, but wasn't totally sure of all of them, so we enrolled in obedience class which we were the second deaf dog to go through.
I looked up what we would be doing the next couple of weeks to determine what sign I wanted to use. She currently knows about 25 signs. I try to stick with ASL, but alter then to 1 handed as the other hand is usually busy with the leash or treats. For the most part she was a quick learner for obedience classes, but there were days I wasn't too sure she was getting any of the new things at all, but usually performed for the next class like a pro! This is the one exception in this class they suggest treats is for the deaf dogs as they can't hear to reinforce the issue, but to taper off the use of treats.
My Jasmine girl has always enjoyed the snow and gets to being her wild, crazy self with snow and doesn't seem to mind it at all. Surprises me for the type of coat Aussies have. She loves her morning walks come rain, snow, or sunshine with her daddy. Is a happy girl to have her mommy home most all the time. Loves to go for car rides and explore new places. At enclosed dog parks she may be let off the leash and she checks in with one of us on regular intervals. This is GREAT as in this type of environment is it difficult to get the attention of a deaf dog. She has 3 male Aussies she visits with regularly and enjoys greatly being around them. Wonder if 2 being half brothers makes it that much more fun to visits with? If I visit them without her along she KNOWS by smell I have been there and gets very excited and wonders where they are - kinda cute and funny.
So that's my girl - Jasmine a now 2 year old Aussie.
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