a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Silent World

Monday, April 16, 2012

Silent World

SUMMARY: Tika's deafness--and vision.

I seem to be able to watch Tika's deafness increase week by week, almost day by day. Some developments:

Now sometimes she can't hear me if I say her name and she's in the same room, but usually she can if I say it loudly.

For a while, she's been lying in her bed periodically woofing once (that gets to be really annoying--about about every 3 to 8 seconds, "woof!"). I wonder whether she's hearing ringing in her ears. Or voices! Or she can't distinguish little random background noises from things she used to bark at. (Believe me, when she used to bark at things, there was no quiet single woof thing going on.) Oh, she still sometimes hears louder things and sounds off as usual. It's those inbetween things that are just odd.

No more barking when someone rings the doorbell or knocks on the door. :-( In fact, I used to never even have people get that far, because Tika would start barking before they got there.

No more barking when the mailperson comes every day. That used to be so handy if I had something I needed to mail and hadn't set it out. Not sure how long that's been going on; just one of those things that I became aware isn't happening any more.

This morning, Tika was lying with her back to me about halfway between me and my renter, about 10 feet away from each of us. I got up from my desk and opened the sliding door to the yard; no reaction. I said her name in my normal voice, no reaction. I yelled her name--she jumped up and went to the renter! Oh, my.

Today I ordered a vibrating collar so I can start train her to look for me in response to a vibration. I ordered a type with no shock option because I don't ever want there to be a mistake.

Also I've been wondering about her vision. Often lately when I toss a treat on the floor for her (to protect my fingers), she doesn't seem to see me toss it, and then sometimes can't find it when she does see me toss it.

Trying not to cry about it. She's always been such an active (and reactive) dog, and so good at finding things and letting me know what's going on. And physically she seems fine, still running like crazy in the back yard for her toy.

And she was beside herself with joy when a couple of my friends came to visit yesterday.

I'm still entering her in agility trials a couple of months out, waiting to see how all that goes.

Oh, mannnn...I'm now rattling treats in the treat jar two feet above her head, and not a reaction at all. (Boost, in the other room, jumped up and is now staring at me.)

Oh, Tika...

OK, she heard the clicker above her head, leaped to her feet! Big jackpot mostly because I was so glad to see that.


  1. no words really except both sympathy and empathy here - I threw a treat to Brody this weekend and he completely didn't see it ... one toss and my heart broke just a little more ... hang in there - so glad she's still happy and playing!

  2. Getting old sucks no matter what species you are. :( Sorry to hear about Tika's issues--but at least you know it's not all in your head when things go awry on the agility field. I have a dog a month younger than Tika and he is starting to miss some little things here and there.

  3. I went through some of this when Jake was getting older, too, but I don't think it got so blatant so quickly. And I don't really remember much of what I did to compensate other than trying to use "my manly voice."

  4. It's no fun watching someone you love get older. Thankfully our dogs don't feel sorry for themselves,they just adjust and move on. I like your idea about training her with a vibrating collar, let us know how it goes.