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Friday, January 05 2018


Virginia asked for an update on Ranger, the Blue Heeler. Ranger is getting up there in age and like the rest of us, he's put on a few pounds. Also like the rest of us, Ranger made no New Year's Resolutions to lose weight. Therefore he will not be giving up his gym membership in May. Ranger is quite happy sleeping in a chair beside a wood-burning stove, thank you very much.

It has recently come to our attention that Ranger is going blind. The change has been so gradual that it snuck up on us and probably Ranger too. Since cataract surgery is costly and it would be Ranger's idea of hell, we have opted to just modify his lifestyle the same as we do for his deaf and visually impaired roommate, Possum. He's happy. We do protect him more from the other dogs. Mostly Mesa. She senses his weakness and picks on him. This gets her thrown outside and he is elevated to Recliner Status, so it works out for him in the long run. It is best to keep him with Possum, Wyatt, and Trace.

Possum is a partially blind too, but never lets her disabilities affect her zest for life and her rollicking good nature helps Ranger.

Wyatt is too young to pick on anyone and still looks up to Ranger as an authority figure. This is good for Blue Dawg's ego.

And Trace doesn't care. He's company, without emotional entanglements.

Do not feel sorry for Ranger. Just like Possum, he doesn't dwell on his disability. His is a happy life. His social skills are getting much better and Ranger is now interacting with visitors. Despite our remote location, we get many more house guests and Ranger is adapting quite well to the idea that strangers are good. They often come bearing string cheese, and that's certainly never bad.

He does absolutely no cow work now, and trotting along with the tractor has been nixed since he ran into the bistro table chair because we had moved it to a different spot. That's when we realized just how bad his vision had become. It was a wake-up call for us. Since his work ethic was never strong anyway, moving into retired pet dog status caused no hiccups in his world whatsoever.  Unlike Cowboy, who refuses to accept retirement, Ranger hadn't done real cow work in so long anyway, it was not an issue.

His big thrills are:

Riding in the ATV
Sleeping in the bed
Taking long walks
Wrestling with his friends
Eating people food

Bonus if all that happens on the same day.


What do you get when you take, a Blind Dog, a Deaf Dog, and a Dog Who Doesn't Care on a walk?

A safe rabbit.

"Did I miss something?"

"Piss on it. No worries, Mate!"

And that is pretty much Ranger's take on things now. He's a happy chap.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 09:33 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Comments:
Ranger may have PRA, progressive retinal atrophy. It is a genetic condition relatively common in cattle dogs. There is genetic test available for it now so breeders are able to breed away from it. It's a simple recessive trait...
Posted by Cappy on 01/05/2018 - 10:11 AM
That's something to consider.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 01/08/2018 - 10:52 AM
Actually, at Ranger's age, its more like to be rcd4 than straight up PRA or PLL. PRA usually takes effect before 5 years and PLL before 8 years. But as long as he's not hurting, it doesn't much matter. PLL is painful, PRA and rcd4 are not. And older ACDs/heelers DO just get cataracts, poor things. It sucks, but it sure doesn't slow them down much!
Posted by Res on 01/17/2018 - 06:20 PM

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