Acquired: Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Posted January 30, 2015
Diamond was an albino Aussie Shepherd (also called a double merle), which means that two merle colored dogs have been bred; merle is a dominant gene, so when two are combined it often results in an albino dog, and often they are beset with health problems. This particular dog was both deaf and suffered from epilepsy, but aside from that he had the sweetest disposition, was loving and affectionate, and made both a great family dog and companion to several other animals in the house (two more Aussie Shepherds, a Boston Terrier, 3 cats and a dwarf rabbit) in fact, he and the rabbit were almost inseparable, the rabbit either following Diamond around, or vice versa. They often slept together as well, and it wasn't unusual to see Diamond curled up in the rabbit cage having a nap with Mr. Bunny ... the unfortunate incidence of epilepsy necessitated that he be on medication, phenobarbital, which gave the poor dog such severe munchies that he would go to almost any lengths to get food, so we'd need to make sure there was nothing left out that he could get into. it wasn't unusual for him to get up on the kitchen counter and devour an entire loaf of bread, or whatever else was handy! If left unattended he would sometimes break out of the backyard and help himself to the neighbor's garbage. The sad thing here was that if and when he was caught, you couldn't call him off because he was deaf and couldn't hear you call ... on a couple of occasions he actually made his way to a local restaurant and practically wallowed in their trash. We had a phone number on his tag, and often I would get calls that the dog was making a nuisance of himself and wasn't responding to their attempts to chase him off. This would happen so fast that I wouldn't even have noticed that the dog was gone, he was quite the escape artist! So off I'd go in the car, and when he saw me he'd happily jump in the car for a ride home. Unfortunately his dietary recklessness got the better of him, he was overweight and developed diabetes as a secondary disease, and though this is what killed him in the end, he still lived a long and happy life, a beloved family dog. It's unfortunate that this particular birth defect can be allowed to happen, they are beautiful snowy white, but the appearance I don't think is worth relegating the dog to a life of potentially irreparable health issues, and in my opinion constitutes irresponsible breeding practices.