5 October 2013
Milo's hearing is still impaired.
However, there are several things I've realized with this new experience. They are:
1. I have trained my dogs to respond to a recall, but I have also incorporated a hand signal - patting my leg so they will approach me without bending over them. This is a two-fold goal. One is that I am not putting body pressure on them by leaning over them. And another is that it is important in herding that the dog be placed exactly where I need them, like on a gate to hold sheep off of me for safety reasons. Nothing like being crushed by hungry sheep desperate to get to their food. Lots of human knees get taken out if a dog can't hold off the sheep while a gate is being opened. Placing the dog where you need them to be is of utmost importance.
This hand signal has greatly helped Milo during this time of deafness at least when he is facing me. I can summon him by patting my leg.
2. He takes so many cues from the other dogs that it is difficult to say if he is hearing or just paying closer attention to how Sabrina and Leo are reacting to noises and distractions. He is very reliant upon them - and has been since he arrived here - I just didn't realize how much and how important those bonds have been.
3. He is very tuned into me. If we are outside in the yard he is rarely more than a few feet away from me and almost never out of sight of me. Milo has been like this all along.
I saw Dr. Choi today (the Integrative Medicine Vet from the University of Minnesota). She provides Oriental Medicine services to humans when she is not working on animals. I told her about Milo's hearing issues and she gave me some herbs to help the dampness in his ears. Milo just finished the custom herbs this week for his blood irregularities so it is safe to have him on a new herb.
We are hoping for the best.