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Meet Ruffy

All photos courtesy of
Lisa Campbell Photography
Let me introduce you to Ruffy.  Ruffy has become the "mascot" of our rescue shelter, so to speak.  He is a deaf Australian Shepherd with limited vision.  He can see light and dark and some movement within 4 feet of him.  He is a lethal white Australian Shepherd, which is primarily white with a patch of blue merle.  He is a result of someone breeding two merle colored Australian Shepherds together.  Many people might think that a completely deaf and almost completely blind dog could never live a productive life and might have opted to have him put down when he was a puppy.  Ruffy is living proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a dog in his condition can definitely live a very happy and productive life!

I have had Ruffy since March 21, 2009, when a man called me and said his girlfriend found a puppy on the side of the road.  They could not keep the puppy and he asked me if I could pick the puppy up.  I told him "no...," and before I could explain the reason why I could not pick him up, he told me he would just "shoot the G*# D*#$@ thing!"  I told him to do whatever he could live with and he hung up.  About thirty minutes later his girlfriend called me again and begged to bring the puppy to me and I said "yes."

When I first saw Ruffy I knew that he was blind.  It didn’t take long to figure out that he was deaf as well.  I made an appointment with Dr. Galle, a local eye specialist.  He tested him and the result was that Ruffy could not see enough definition to learn hand signals.  He also said that I could not keep him because my environment would not be safe for him.  I have horses and he thought that our fencing would not be sufficient to keep him out of harms way.  The doctor said that Ruffy could live a normal life in a home with a regular fenced yard, but not at our shelter.

As time went on and no one adopted him, I would take Ruffy everywhere with me to socialize him.  He attended T-ball and football games.  He would go to school twice a day to drop off and pick up my two boys with me.  Somehow he knows what time it is and he goes out the door and gets in the car when school is almost out.  He has been camping several times this summer and tubing down the river with us.  Needless to say,  Ruffy is no longer available for adoption as he has become a much loved member of our family!  He fits in perfectly here and even sleeps on my boys' beds at night.  It turns out that he is okay with the horses.  He goes to the barn with me to feed them, he waits outside until all of the horses are in their stalls and then he comes in.  I have no idea how he knows when they are loose and when they are locked up, but somehow he does.
When people come out to the shelter they can't tell that there is anything wrong with Ruffy, because there ISN'T!  Ruffy is perfectly normal!  The only difference between Ruffy and any of my other dogs is that he wears a bell around his collar in case he wonders too far away so we can hear him.  It is animals like Ruffy that keep us going in animal rescue.  To think that such a special animal could have ended up dead on the side of a road or shot by someone who simply didn't care is truly heartwrenching.  We couldn't imagine our lives without Ruffy.  Ruffy has found his fur-ever home and he hopes that all his friends at our rescue find their fur-ever homes too!

All photos courtesy of
Lisa Campbell Photography