Behold the gorgeousness that is Morgan. Morgan is bilaterally deaf, meaning that she is completely deaf in both ears. One thing I really love about doing these sessions with shelter dogs is that it gives me a chance to take a step back and think about the experience that each dog has in the shelter. In Morgan's case, this was an especially interesting thought experiment. The barking and loud voices and other racket that are such a familiar part of the kennel environment can be a lot for almost any dog to handle. But not Morgan. I often see her snoozing in her kennel in the early hours of the morning, the sun streaming through the chain-link door to her kennel, all the while her neighbor dogs barking and shrieking and clanging. Are her other senses heightened? I don't know. But I can say that they are certainly used more exclusively. Dogs do much of their communication via body language and other non-verbal communication regardless of whether or not they can hear, and since Morgan has no way of knowing that there are even sounds to be heard in the world, it's seems that she wouldn't miss them. She has her own fluency with the world around her. In this way, deafness is not as much a thing ABOUT Morgan as it is a thing OF Morgan. She's an animal. I'm an animal. We romp and play and snarl and sense.
And so Morgan I braved the cold and the rain and made these photographs for you all.
Morgan is available for adoption at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, TX. You can find Morgan's profile on the APA! website here: http://bit.ly/1GgFuCS