Earth to Belle-chan. Hellooo Belle-chan!
How can you tell if your Shiba is deaf?
Even though Belle-chan is a Sp. Ch. North American agililty dog, her recall ability is the same as every other Shibas. If you say, "get in your box," she runs the other direction or if you say, No- Belle-chan continues to trot on her merry way as if The Woman's existence is non-existant.
Belle-chan stopped hearing the words, "Treat!" "Walk!", and "Car!"
Belle-chan kept sleeping when the doorbell rang.
Belle-chan would not bark at other dogs barking (and trust me, she never misses a chance to tell another dog to "Shut up!" or "I'm in Charge!"
She will bark if she sees me reacting to something but even then, Belle-chan would be looking around, acting as if she was trying to figure out what was going on.
Someone can call Belle-chan's name and not even an ear twitches. If I jump on the bed while she is sleeping, she acts startled until she realizes it is me, and then she is all happy and apolegetic, licking my face and settling back down. Even The Woman has to be careful when she approaches her from behind, trying not to startle or scare her. Belle-chan requires gentle attention as The Family realizes now that Belle-chan can not hear us.
There is a level of humor behind Belle's recent change. When I hear the word "Treat," I am there first and she is no where to be found. The Woman has to go looking for her, and if she is asleep, The Woman waves the treat under her nose and watches her become alert. Belle-chan will follow me around sometimes, like when she suspects that there is food being distributed behind her back or if she thinks that there is a dog around that needs to be reprimanded for being in her personal space. I don't mind her following me around but Belle-chan gets all uppitity if I do things without her, like go somewhere in the car because she did not want to leave the bed (even after being shown the leash).
Belle-chan still leads a great life. She eats her meals regularly with all sorts natural products and extras. She still gets lots of walks and car rides. She sleeps on the bed every night, and gives a great good morning greeting to both me and The Woman. At night, after the evening consitutional, she hangs around downstairs until about 8:30 pm, and then hops up the stairs and settles into the bed for the night (although last night, for the Super Bowl, she stayed up until 9:30 pm, spending her time sitting next to That Guy on the ottoman watching the game- such a treat of her to give us her presence for that extra hour!)
Belle-chan is 13. She is a chubby old lady who yells at other dogs for playing on her lawn. She likes her naps, her belly rubs, and her meals to be delivered regularly. She is still her Diva self- she just doesn't hear the fanfare anymore whenever she enters the room.
I Am Shiba. I Will Look After My Best Friend.