Whisper is an 11 year old spayed female White Australian Shepherd with blue eyes who is deaf (below left). Above: Whisper and Flurry.
In 2009, Whisper was confiscated from a foster home when the rescue was raided in an alleged cruelty and neglect case. She was terribly traumatized by the experience of being seized and then held in an animal control facility for a number of weeks, before she was surrendered to Home for Life. At the time of Whisper's surrender, she was believed to be just three years old.
Whisper's reaction to the upsetting experience of being seized and then held in the kennels of the animal control facility was to become very aggressive and reative to the mostly male staff, lunging and barking at the front of the cage, with every intention of biting. It must have been so frightening for Whisper to lose her rescue home in such a traumatic way, to be seized with a catch pole, transported in a small holding kennel in the animal control truck and then to be held behind bars in the kennels at the facility. Her inability to hear only compounded her confusion and fear. While some dogs would react fearfully and become more timid, Whisper went on the offensive, determined to protect herself. She didn't realize what risk her behavior put her life in.
Along with a Great Dane/Irish Wolfhound mix Evie, and Dulcie a labradoodle, Whisper was surrendered to Home for Life after about three weeks in the animal control facility. Whereas Dulcie and Evie were surrendered to Home for Life because of their extreme timidity and shyness, Whisper came to us due to her menacing behavior. When the animal control officer met us with the three dogs, it was interesting that Whisper who was lunging at the front of her crate and growling and barking, became quickly quiet and docile when she smelled the perfume one of our staff was wearing who was there to pick her up (fyi: Chanel's Cristalle). Whisper doesn't hear at all, and doesn't see well, but her sense of smell is acute and, she realized someone new, and females, were there to help her.
Because of Whisper's disabilities, she is vulnerable in many ways and has had to be managed carefully at Home for Life to keep her safe as well as and those staff who work with her. With her silky white fur, petite build and blue eyes, she is a pretty dog who seems to be as sweet as she looks and she can be, but she is also quick to protect and defend herself if she perceives a threat of harm. Still, because of the considerate and respectful care she has received at Home for Life, Whisper has been a good dog and has never bitten any of our staff. New team members are introduced slowly to Whisper, so she gets accustomed to them in her own time, and with only rare exceptions, she has been very accepting and loving to all our staff.
Whisper's friend and companion is another Australian Shepherd, Flurry. While Whisper can see but can't hear, Flurry has no eyes but can hear very well. He has lived at Home for Life since a 6 month old puppy, and came to Home for Life from an animal control facility as a puppy also in 2008, with his brother Winter, whom we lost in 2009 (see blog post about the two brothers).
Not long after Winter passed away, Whisper seemed to take the place of Winter for Flurry as companion and best friend, the two dogs serving as eyes and ears for one another.
Whisper is a vulnerable dog with a very traumatic past, given up as a young two or three year old dog, confiscated after her "rescue" was raided, and then held in a frightening animal control facility. She has shown herself to be capable of rising above all the challenges of her past life to have a peaceful life at Home for Life, filled with fun and friendship.