A beautiful little 8-week-old Dachshund came to us from another breeder. She was a double dapple and 100% stone deaf and 90% blind. She could vaguely see objects only if they were an inch in front of her nose. We could tell that she had been well taken care of and extremely loved by her breeder's family; she was happy, confident and enjoyed being held.
Incredibly intelligent, she learned touch commands almost immediately. Her memory was extraordinary and she soon learned every inch (literally) of our home and yards. The only time she ever bumped into something is when she was running at full speed and the object was out of it's normal place. Her confidence built even more as she ate, slept and played with her "brothers & sisters".
[The 3 pictures below are the kids on the dogpillows and blankets beneath my computer desk, which is a favorite gathering place. In the below picture, Dazzle is the one who is sound asleep upside down.]
[The below picture are Dazzle & Silhouette (her favorite playmate) curled up asleep together. Silhouette heard me get the camera and sleepily lifted her head but her eyes were still closed when the picture was taken...lololol]
She became fully integrated with the other members of the family and frequently is the ringleader in games of chase, tag, hide & seek and tug-of-war. Her sense of smell is amazing - she can follow the movements of any chosen dog at a full run, inside the house and outside in the yard.
(Dazzle using her nose to run after Misty)
Her personality is bubbly and her demeanor confident; she won't be bullied and can roughhouse with the best of them, but her behavior is always appropriate. She is extremely affectionate with the other dogs and especially gentle with little puppies, letting them play-growl and play-attack her with the tolerance and affection of any seeing and hearing dog.
I did not know how she could learn to use the dogdoor, but she followed the other dogs, and soon began running in and out as though she had been doing it all her life. The dogdoor is always open for them, and leads to a securely fenced back yard. The chain-link fence is 5 feet high and buried 1 foot in the ground, making it escape-proof.
(The picture above shows Cocopuff in the foreground, and in the back, from left to right, are Misty, Khaki and Dazzle. I am standing right in front of Dazzle who senses I am there - the other dogs are watching me waving my arms.)
We have a fully fenced 1-acre front yard with a 1/4-acre pond. In the summer evenings, my husband and I take our "kids" out there to play. After sniffing the circumference of the pond, she pinpointed exactly where it was and races confidently around the edge along with the other dogs. We are always with them, of course, and keep a close eye on everyone.
(Misty & Dazzle, 2 Double Dapples. Misty has a colored head and can see and hear perfectly. Dazzle has a white head and has severe sight & hearing impairment)
When it was time to have her spayed, I was very nervous about how she would be able to handle the stress and pain - without being able to see, hear or understand what was being done to her. We brought her in early in the morning and picked her up later that afternoon, so she wouldn't have to stay overnight. I had torb (a narcotic pain reliever) on hand to make sure she was comfortable for the first few days. She sailed through it all with flying colors.
She has one little quirk. She still "baby-grunts." Anyone who raises baby puppies knows the delightful sound of the contented "baby-grunts" puppies give when their tummies are full and they are sleepily settling down for the night. She still "baby-grunts" as she snuggles next to me in bed, and the soporific sound lulls me to sleep.
As I watch her playing gently with tiny puppies, or racing around with the other dachshunds, or in my lap with her tail wagging furiously and her mouth wide open in a "happy face grin", or with the other dachshunds piled up in my husband's lap, I thank our lucky stars that she became part of our family.
(Hubby's lap on a typical evening. Sparky curled up in front, with Misty to the right of her. In the back, from left to right are Cocopuff, Rikki laying upside down and then Dazzle.)
Not ALL Double Dapples have impaired sight or hearing. It all depends on where the "double dappling" falls. We have two Double Dapples - Dazzle & Misty (Mystique). Dazzle is stone deaf and 90% blind - she might be able to see the shadow of a hand if it is within an inch of her nose. Misty has perfect sight and hearing. The difference? Look at their heads - Dazzle's head is white - she has the double dappling falling where her eyes and ears are. Misty's head is colored - no double dappling around her eyes or ears. Misty can see and hear perfectly.
A lady from the All American Dachshund Rescue League wrote: "People don't often realize how great these dogs [impaired double dapples] can do if given a chance. We often get double dapples in the rescue and it is amazing just how great they do and how happy they make their families. Many shelters put these dogs down immediately when they come in or if a rescue will not take them, but we are trying to show them and the public just how trainable and adoptable they are."
There are so many dogs that need homes, purebred and mixed. If people could make room for in their hearts and homes for just one rescue dog, it would make a world of difference - especially for that "special" dog.
Early in September 2012, when 5 1/2 years old, little Dazzle developed a sudden and severe back problem. Her spiral downward was immediate and painful. Pain medications were not effective and she was helped over the Rainbow Bridge several days later.
Our dear friend Christine Edwards, Mom of Peanut and Pixie, sent this beautiful memory to help us cope with our loss:
My Grandma had a Golden Retriever named Bo. Me and my 3 brothers grew up with Bo. When he was 13, he got a stomach tumor. Grandma kept him till his quality of life deteriorated. I was 12, my brothers 13,11 and 10. The day Grandma took him to the vet, we all went with her. We were all crying as Bo was laying on the table.
Grandma said "Now everyone put a hand on Bo. He needs all our love to get him to the Rainbow Bridge. If you concentrate hard, you can send him over with extra love that can be used by a poor homeless dog who had to die by himself because he didn't have kids like you to love him."
I remember all of us closing our eyes and concentrating as the vet injected him. Even though the day was sad, Grandma made us feel better by telling us that all our love probably helped 20 homeless dogs that day! It was a positive experience that I have never forgotten. Grandma was a smart cookie! I bet Dazzle made it to the Rainbow Bridge with a blinding light of love! I'll be thinking of you and Mel and you'll be in my prayers!
R.I.P sweet Dazzle