Would you adopt a tiny puppy with shrunken, sightless eyes? One with a gene combination known as Lethal White, that could well portend health problems later – or sooner – in life? And what would you do if you found out that the pup was deaf as well as blind?

Brenda Armstrong didn't hesitate. She took the pup home and raised him with loving patience. Now she's written a book about it: Casper. The book is subtitled A Short Tale about a Long (Deaf and Blind) Dachshund. And it is, indeed, short. Only 40 pages. But you can tell that Ms. Armstrong was moved by the love she feels for this little boy to put her feelings into writing, publish them herself and make them available to us.

First of all, let us put in a plug for responsible breeding. Casper didn't need to be the way he is. The people who bred him did not know what they were doing. Folks, don't assume you can put two dogs together and get some sweet, healthy pups. Sometimes that will work. Sometimes you will get a Casper. Stick with people who know what they're doing, like our friends at 2 Dogs Long.

Ms. Armstrong writes, "When it comes to puppy love I am very opinionated. In some of the following chapters, you may not agree with my tactics, and that's OK. It worked for me." So in her brief 40 pages, she lets you know what it's like to tackle the job of raising and training a dog who cannot hear your commands or see your hand signals. And, in summary, her method involves love, gentleness and a lot of patience.

You may not learn any great lessons from this book, and you probably won't pick up any techniques you will use frequently. But it you have any love for the underdog, and if you've ever rooted for a special needs dog to be as happy as any other "normal" family pet, then you will find the hour or so you spend with the book to be well worth your time and your money.

Towards the end of the book, Ms. Armstrong writes, "He is an amazing little guy, born into a very dark world, and so happy to be alive. The day we brought Casper into our home was the day we vowed to give him the best life and the unconditional love that he so deserved." Casper will be six next month, and if his Facebook page is to be believed, he is still well and happy.

To get your copy of Casper's book from Amazon, click here.


Christa Velbel

Date 8/12/2013

Add Comment