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Monday, January 29 2018


     The morning sun crests the line of trees and creeps across the barnyard with warm fingers. As eager to greet the day as the sheep are to greet their hay, the dogs chase each other, madly dashing up and down the hill, round and round the barn.

     This dog is no different. A stranger here would have no idea she is deaf and partially blind. MoonPossum lives her life with gusto. She grabs the day by the horns and insists on being a part of the fun. Possum so easily keeps up with the Border Collies in their frenzied chase games that it's easy to set aside her disabilities and forget she's different. Until . . .

     I walk toward the cow pens as she comes racing down the path toward me. There is plenty of time for her to see me but she keeps barrelling onward, never veering off the path, a little train steaming forward. Surely she sees me. She has to see me.

    Apparently not.

    I have just enough time to bend my knees before impact. Possum is clearly surprised that she's hit something, but then delighted that the something is me. We have a momentary love fest before she grins, wobbles into a lopsided lope, gathers steam, and off she goes to find her friends.

     Why didn't Possum see me? I need only glance down for the answer. I'm wearing camouflaged pajama pants and a camouflaged hunting jacket with brown house shoes. This has effectively made me invisible to Possum as she races down a wooded path. For a moment my heart breaks. It aches for her. It's easy to forget that Possum has vision problems. It's easy to forget that she's deaf. It's easy to feel sorry for her. Then again, why? Why should we? Possum doesn't.

     She races across the yard with wild abandon. Happy. The Border Collies know she's different, but she doesn't.  Possum is happy. I watch her join her buddies, leaping, biting, wrestling, running. There is no caution. None whatsoever.

     Perhaps we're the ones with the handicap, not her. Possum is not crippled by her disabilities. She motors forward, confident that things will sort themselves out as she runs. I watch her and consider the lessons she could teach the rest of us.

     Just keep trusting, keep blindly running forward, and the way will show itself. Nothing fun is ever accomplished from cowering in the dark, from sitting on the sidelines, from playing it safe. Chase life with gusto. Even if you're wrong, even when you make mistakes, get up. Get up! Dust yourself off! Failure is just another experience gained. Get back in the game!

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 10:27 am   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
I'm constantly amazed that you can have a vision-impaired dog in a larger pack without issue. I only have two dogs (one sighted, one completely blind) and the unnecessary drama is real. It all stems from the blind guy not being able to read the body language of the sighted guy - plus the inability of either one to just ignore the perceived "slight." Fortunately, neither one is looking to inflict damage, but they just can't let it go. And yeah, I forget the blind guy is blind all the time.... Love your blog!
Posted by Peggy on 01/29/2018 - 11:22 AM
Live like someone just left the gate opened.
Posted by Becky Copeland on 01/29/2018 - 11:24 AM
Possum's ability to integrate into the pack has a lot to do with her rollicking personality. I'm hoping as she ages she maintains that. She just goes with the flow. She often does not see subtle cues and can be socially obtuse because of that. Most of the dogs just adapt. Mesa gets a little bitchy but then she is that way with everyo
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 01/29/2018 - 12:01 PM
Brought a tear to my eye. I need to Moon Possom's example.
Posted by donna on 01/29/2018 - 12:57 PM

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