Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. -- Anonymous
ADOPTED 7/14/04 (by his foster mom)
9/8/04 Sparky is enjoying the "good life" as he vacations in Michigan with his new family. Here are a few pictures showing how he has mastered boating :-) Thank you Michelle and Fred for sharing these great pics.
1/25/04 Scrappy is now called Sparky most of the time. He has come a long way since coming to live with us in September. In the beginning he was crated at night and now has free run of the house with access to the dog door. He is eager to please and consistently responds to hand signals to sit, wait, and no. He has learned to stay off the counters for the most part , and only very occasionally does he regress, if there is something on the counter that smells really good and no one is in the room.. He only puts his teeth on us now when he is really excited, and a tap on the nose reminds him he is not supposed to do that. He still loves rides in the car or truck. He is happy to be kenneled or loose in the vehicle. He sticks his head out the window at low speeds, then lays down in the seat to enjoy the ride. He and his 4 year-old Aussie "brother" Taz spend a lot of time playfully sparring. Taz goes along with game most of the time, but when Sparky has more energy than Taz, He will gently put his paw on Taz's head and bark in his ear to get him to play. Sparky follows Taz everywhere. Sparky's vision impairment isn't very noticeable, and it seems he can see at night as well as in the daytime.
Not only is Sparky smart enough to drive, we think he helped Fred with his crossword puzzle :-)
11/02/03 If you've read Scrappy's story, you already know that when he came to us, he had many issues due to his early beginnings of never being in the right home to begin with. Michelle and Fred, his foster parents, are quite please with all the progress he has made. Scrappy enjoys living with his "brother" Taz and having someone to play with. Since living at his foster home, he has been socialized by going almost everywhere and sometimes sits at the garage door awaiting his next adventure out. He is so typical Aussie pup and is enjoying the security and love that Michelle and Fred provide. Please consider adding Scrappy, a wonderful typical Aussie, to your family. Scrappy already knows some hand signs and is learning more.
10/26/03 Scrappy came to visit us at our October Pets911 event. Here are some new pics for you to enjoy!
For more pictures, visit our Franciscan Renewal page
10/26/03 Scrappy came to visit us today and he looked absolutely beautiful! His foster mom told us that he has such a sweet personality, loves everyone and had a great time playing with his new friend (another doggie) for nearly 6 hours the day before. He loves going for walks and does much better on the gentle leader (pictured above) than a normal collar. His "strange behavior" still exists from time to time, but no longer seems to be an obsession. The entire time he spent with us today, it never happened. Scrappy is very laid back and calmly enjoyed all of the activity surrounding him. He loves everyone and his favorite thing to do is give kisses. Scrappy has come a long way from the day we got him and all the credit goes to Michelle, his foster mom, for all of her efforts. Please stay tuned for updates.
Scrappy was born on 1/7/03 and is a beautiful, healthy Lethal White Red Merle Australian Shepherd. He is totally deaf with very slight vision impairment. He is a really sweet dog who never had any consistent direction. At the age of 9 months old, he is very much puppy! He was never taught NOT to mouth, so he does, sometimes a little harder than he should. His foster Mom is currently working on this, but it will take a little time. He is still in the chewing stage, which is pretty normal for a pup his age, so his new home will definitely need to "puppy proof" the house. Scrappy would do best in a home with teenage children (NO small children) willing to spend time with him and give him lots of exercise. He has never lived with another dog, and gets really excited when introduced to one. He immediately wants to play, but doesn't have many "doggie manners", so he just rushes in...and plays hard. We think Scrappy would love to have another dog to play with, but it would have to be one that matched his energy level and was easy going enough to help Scrappy learn some of the rules. He would do best in a home experienced in Aussies, who understand that the importance of the Alpha role in the family pack. Scrappy needs some rules and direction, but in a gentle (yet firm) loving way. Aussies aim to please, and he is no different, he just doesn't understand exactly what's he's supposed to do to please you.
9/20/03 Scrappy was seen by Dr. Brady of Best Friends Animal Hospital, and physically, he is just fine! She does not think that his behavior issues (which have decreased) are caused by any medical problems.
9/16/03 Scrappy is doing great, showing much improvement. He really enjoys running through the sprinklers and wading in his baby plastic pool. His favorite thing to do is dunk his head underwater in the pool. Scrappy has a vet appointment for next week, we will keep you posted.
9/12/03 Scrappy's appointment at the Eye Clinic For Animals (in Mesa) went well. He had a complete exam, including Tonometry and Fluorescein Stain. Although Scrappy's eyes are small and pointed downward (his degree of vision impairment), his eyes are clear of any medical problems. He was sent home with ointment to help keep his eyes moist. Next week he'll be scheduled for a vet check and blood panel. Will update after visit. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures taken at the eye clinic where Scrappy was joined by Sage and Marco for their checkups!
Here are some of Marco and Sage
Scrappy's story is truly sad and proves what can happen to Lethal Whites when they end up with the wrong people. We were contacted in March of 2003 by a lady who said she was putting together a benefit associated with the Anaheim Angels (this part is really sketchy for me, so if you can provide any information, it would be greatly appreciated. If I can recall it had something to do with Mohammad Ali...and there was a Fight Night IX held at the Biltmore in Phoenix around that time). She explained that each year, they would auction off a purebred puppy, usually going for $5,000. She went on to say that, after several years of doing this (her conscience got the best of her), she thought auctioning off a "pound puppy" would be more appropriate (kind of like helping the underdog). She then proceeded to explain that while she and a friend were visiting the pound, looking for a cute pup to auction off, a woman happened to be dropping off 2 Lethal White pups. Neither pup actually made it to the pound. One was given away (but we have reason to believe that this is the pup that was actually auctioned off) and they took the other. Her reason for contacting me was to get some information on Lethals. I explained thoroughly how important it is to find the right home for these babies and that they could not go to just anyone. I begged her NOT to auction this pup off. I even offered, could I not change her mind, to attend the benefit, provide information and offer 24/7 support to the lucky winner. She said she would think about it!
When I didn't hear from her, I called (cannot find her contact information) to find out what she had decided. She said they were not going to auction off the pup because her friend had fallen in love with him and decided to keep him. I, again, offered to take the pup or provide support and asked her to pass on our number and email address. We never heard from her again!
Sometime later, a very nice lady contacted Lorraine asking for help with a Lethal. After explaining her situation, we were told that this was the pup who was supposed to be auctioned off. The true story goes like this: The lady (we do have a name, but will not post it) that fell "in love" with him and was going to keep him, actually kept him for one day and then passed him off to her nanny. The nanny, who takes care of her handicapped son, turned the dog over to his teacher. The family was NOT told of his disabilities, but instead was told that he was from a "top of the line" breeding and worth $500. This loving family had NO experience with Aussies and learned on their own that Scrappy was totally deaf! We offered our support and recommended a trainer because Hilary was determined to make things work. After 2 complete training sessions (the trainer was ineffective in working with Scrappy's disabilities), she contacted us for help in placing Scrappy. We offered to place him on our website (as one of our own) and do complete screening and be present at the introduction to the potential adopter. However, what we didn't realize at the time was that their situation was a little more desperate than told to us.
Trying to do the right thing, they took Scrappy to down Friends For Life in hopes of finding him a new home. They thought that he needed to be with another dog because he had so much energy. Hilary contacted me on a Saturday afternoon saying that Scrappy had been adopted by a family with children and another dog to play with. On Sunday morning, Hilary let me know that the new family did not want him because he was too rough with their dog (a boxer).
Because of Hilary's situation (involving medical issues with her child), she could not take Scrappy back and we had NO place to put him. Realizing how serious the situation was, we put out a plea for help all across the USA. Fortunately for us, the first response was from a local resident willing to step in and foster for us. She completed our foster application, we interviewed by phone and with Scrappy in tow, did a home check. The foster mom turned out to be a gem and we all spent time getting acquainted. During our "get to know each other" time, I noticed that Scrappy was displaying a rather strange behavior. At first, I thought he was chasing a bug on the ground, but soon realized that there was nothing there. He continued to explore the yard, biting at the ground and scratching it with his paw. Once in the house, he continued this behavior through every room, over and over again...nothing we did would distract him long enough to make him stop! This is a major concern for us because although we have experienced "circling" in Lethals, we had never seen anything like this. For additional stories on this behavior, please check out our October issue of Lethals Across USA. (pdf format)
Apparently, Scrappy has always exhibited a mild version of this behavior (explained as "enough to notice, but not enough to be concerned about"). However, after more investigation, it has come to our attention that Scrappy has exhibited this behavior to the extreme in that last few weeks (which have been really stressful) at Hilary's. He would revert to "biting and chasing" his imaginary illusion during eating, in the crate or while playing.
At this time, Scrappy is safe in foster care. His foster mom is willing to work through this compulsive behavior. For now, we do not know whether or not this is stress related, but his foster mom is providing a calm environment and giving him time to adjust in hopes that this behavior will subside. Our immediate plan is to take Scrappy in to the eye clinic to determine the condition of his eyes. Should the determination be that the condition of his eyes is NOT the reason for this behavior, we will continue on to try to find the reason.
We have no idea where the other pup is or if he/she is exhibiting similar behavior. If anyone has any "firsthand" knowledge about either of these pups (Scrappy and/or his littermate), please contact me by email by clicking on this link... Cyndi
Scrappy's report from his foster mom is that he really is a sweet boy. He loves to cuddle and be petted. We are hoping that this behavior has been brought on by stress and with a little time and patience, it will subside. We will keep you posted on all reports as they come in.
The following is Scrappy's bio submitted by Hilary (his mom for the past several months).
Donators for Scrappy
Michelle & Fred Jennings
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