Story: by: Anne and Elisha and the Dillon-Thomas Pack
(Moejo Reighn, Indigo Blue, Other Jade, Angel Burgundy, and Mystik Nite)
My story is of Angel Burgundy, a pure
breed Australian Shepherd. We first met this little ball of white fluff
Wasatche Animal Rescue, part of a Salt Lake City retail pet supply store,
Yuppie Puppie. She crawled into my
partner's lap and all uncertainty about her future was forgotten.
But our little Angel is "special," she's what is called
a "lethal white." She is completely deaf and has limited sight. We had no
idea what we were getting into when
we brought her into our existing pack of three dogs (all with their own
set of physical problems).
Her story is all to common for lethal white Australian Shepherds. Breed
for her beautiful, predominately white
Merle coat, she was to be destroyed by the breeder because she had no
monetary value. The vet took pity, and
asked if she could be surrendered to an animal rescue. There she stayed
for nearly two months. She was unable
to remain in the kennel because she was constantly attacked. (See, Angel
cannot hear or see another dog warning
her that her puppy enthusiasm was proving to be too much. This resulted
in many dogs fights, where Angel had no
clue what she had done wrong.) Instead she was allowed to roam the store,
hanging out with the rescued cats and
customers. Nearly everyone feel in love with this beautiful baby UNTIL
they found out about her disabilities.
I had previously worked with deaf/blind kids, and had an older dog who
had lost her sight due to a heredity issue.
But nothing prepared us for Angel. Although there are days when I think
she is quite misnamed (especially when
she runs into my knee at full speed), she is quite literately my heart
and I often lose my breathe with my overwhelming
love for her. Angel is not "special" in the sense that her life is
anything but normal and filled with everything her sisters
can do. She hikes, snowshoes, swims, and loves to play with any dog that
is willing. I often hear people express pity
for Angel, but she will have none of that. All she wants from strangers,
which is what most dogs want, is to be petted
endlessly or played with, and all I want is for people to understand why
her "kind" should never exist in the first place
. Angel has passed basic dog obedience with flying colors and will sit,
lay and stay if touched in the proper places
(as for coming when "called" she's still an Aussie and stubborn to the
core). This is Angel's story, not of a dog that
is lacking but of one that can see the world better than anyone and can
hear what the rest of us only dream of
: happiness. .
Family Photo 2005
Elisha is on the left, and I'm on the right.
Indigo Blue is the black and white, beagle mix on the left with
problems and allergies. Other Jade (Yes, that is her name. She came with
it and it just stuck) is the border collie
mix next to Indigo. She under went three luxated patella surgeries before
she was 18 months old. Then there is
Moejo Reighn and Angel Burgundy. Missing is Mystik Nite, our chow/German
Shepherd mix we recently adopted.
Angel has also been featured at
Handicapped Pets.com and