Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible. -- Anonymous
Our Purpose is to rescue and re-home existing Lethal White Australian Shepherds. Our Mission is to ensure, through support and education, a positive environment and successful life-long union for those adopted. Our Vision is to prevent, and ultimately eliminate, Merle-to-Merle breeding of Australian Shepherds through continuous efforts to EDUCATE!
Lucky Lethal Stories
Here are some great stories from some very Lucky Lethals across the USA! Click on pics for enlargement.
Scooby found on the road 5 years ago!
Jade adopted from the Arizona Animal Welfare League, Phoenix, AZ
This "story" was not submitted as a Lucky Lethal Story. This is an actual email sent to Lorraine, which is a happy ending to yet another story that began in a kill shelter!
Last year an accidental Merle-to-Merle breeding resulted in the birth of 2 Lethals: a little girl who could see and hear and a little boy who was deaf. The Breeder (Lynn), who is very responsible and reputable, contacted Mark & Luanna Lawrence (through the Vet who cares for their doggies) for help in finding the little deaf boy a home. His name is Mouse because he is so very white :-) Please know that Stormy (the little girl) has a wonderful home with 2 children that love her and think there is no greater dog in the world :-)
Before I continue with Mouse's story, please know that Lynn LOVES all of her litters and does NOT practice or condone Merle-to-Merle breeding...but accidents do happen! All of her pups are microchipped, including Mouse (with her information) before going to their forever homes.
When Mark contacted me after speaking with Lynn, we were all working on finding him a loving home...and Lynn continued to do the same. Lynn sent the following email about Mouse to Luanna and gave her permission for us to share with you.
The other white girl is fine ~ She can hear and see! She is in Laughlin, NV. with a wonderful family having two children who love her like there is no other dog in the world as her own private herd. Her name is Stormy.
And the most wonderful thing happened for Mouse. For no apparent reason my Mom mentioned Mouse to the Gentleman that she buys her hay cubes from (Alex) and Alex is a member of a church (in East Bakersfield) that has a sizable deaf and hearing impaired congregation of approximately 60 people. And Alex told the hearing impaired Pastor (Mark) about Mouse, then when Mark told his congregation about Mouse and asked if any one was interested 60 hands went up! Well, to solve the problem of so many families wanting this one puppy they did a ballet on who each person thought should have Mouse and no one could vote for themselves. Anyway the majority of the people voted on a retired deaf Gentleman named Earl who had just lost his 15 year old Deaf Aussie! What a blessing.
So, the Friday before Christmas my 10 year old daughter Jillian and I met Alex, Mark, Marks two sons, and Earl at a feed store in Tehachapi and gave Mouse to Earl. Mark assured me that Mouse and Earl will have all the support of their Church behind them to raise Mouse. And the report I received from Alex yesterday, was that everyone is doing wonderfully.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.
I look forward to talking Aussie with you in the future,
May God keep you and yours, Lynn
Here are a few pictures (not real good quality, but we'll be getting better ones) of Pastor Mark, Mouse and Mouse & Earl. Enjoy!!!
Be sure to check back for new pics and updates!
Late at night, into early next morning on October 16, 2003, a litter of 8 Australian Shepherds were born in Apache Junction, AZ. The next day, the breeder called her Vet to schedule an appointment to have 4 tails docked…and 4 pups euthanized. Lucky for those 4 pups, the Vet was on vacation! The 4 beautiful pups whose lives were to end, without a second thought, were Lethal Whites (deaf and/or blind in varying degrees), a common result from a Merle-to-Merle breeding. The “average” percentage is 25%, but in many cases, such as this one, it certainly can be more.
Enter a kind soul who could not bear to see these pups put to sleep, brings us to the wonderful, heartwarming story of what love, compassion and dedication can accomplish. This story is about Cheyenne, Dakota and Cocoa…and their loving family, Mark & Luanna Lawrence, who sought professional help when challenged beyond their capabilities.
Cheyenne is deaf and sight impaired; Dakota has slight sight impairment; Cocoa is deaf and has slight sight impairment. On 1/31/04, Dakota and Cheyenne were adopted by Mark & Luanna, who made the trip from Rosamond, CA to Mesa, AZ with all canine residents in tow to meet these precious babies. All went well, and they soon began their new life together. Not unfamiliar with Aussies, Luanna soon realized that Cheyenne’s deafness did create some obstacles not easily overcome. Determined to find a solution, Luanna searched for training opportunities that would address her concerns in communicating with a deaf dog. Luanna & Mark had criteria in mind when selecting a trainer: familiarity with deaf dogs; only positive reinforcement; availability of in-home training; and a trainer that would recognize the potential hidden inside them and appreciate them for what they are capable of.
They found exactly what they were looking for in a trainer when they contacted Uncle Matty, where they met Nikki (Nickol Litwin). She helped change all their lives!
While Cheyenne and Dakota were growing up in a loving, secure home, Cocoa (Kissin’ Kate) had already been adopted and returned to foster care, living again with her brother Magnus. She already had some issues (submissive peeing), but was coming along. Soon, Cocoa and Magnus were adopted by a wonderful couple who were soon to be married. Life’s unexpected turns sometimes creates chaos for others involved. The marriage plans fell through and Cocoa’s life, once again, was in upheaval. She became too difficult to handle, so she was, once again, in need of a new home.
Enter a wonderful family whose love and dedication made such a positive difference in the lives of 2 sweet Lethals, destined to die, brings us to yet another happy ending for a little girl, confused and bewildered, wondering where exactly she belonged. No better place than with her siblings and a family very familiar in training a deaf dog! On 1/11/05, Cocoa was officially adopted by Mark and Luanna and her life was about to change forever! She has joined Cheyenne and Dakota in their weekly obedience lessons and is doing great. Nikki thinks she is very smart and is quickly learning what is “expected” of her, even though she has never had to “do” anything she didn’t want to. J
With a little direction and a lot of love and patience, Cocoa is becoming the lady she was destined to be. There are always options for the deaf dog…sign language; and for the deaf and blind…touch commands. Don’t give up on the impaired…find a solution! As a guardian, you owe it to them to let them be the best that they can. The possibilities are endless!
Cheyenne, Dakota and Cocoa…in training!
Cyndi Cunico AussieLads Lethal White Aussie Rescue
Hello, I have been meaning to write to send an update on
Kellen. I wrote you a few years ago shortly after adopting Kellen and in fact
you still have his story posted (Colorado)! Kellen is almost 6 years old now and
he doing wonderful! He completely lost his sight in August 2006 due to the
congenital retina problems he was born with, but has adapted beautifully. I am
sending an updated picture with his ball. He still plays ball and fetches like a
champ. That definitely is his "job" that brings him so much enjoyment! As you
can see from his picture, he is happy and always smiling.
I appreciate your mission and the help that you provide these special dogs. The exposure that Aussie Lads offers to people to (hopefully) educate them about poor breeding that leads to the congenital disorders these wonderful dogs have to live with the rest of their lives. That is so important!! Kellen is the best dog we have ever had....and that's a strong statement. Having him has made me a better person; more patient and understanding. Plus, the reward I get by having a fantastic companion and friend. He is truly a perfect angel.
Thank you for all you do!
Cheryl Valdez and Kellen
Grace adopted from Private Rescue, Monique Kramer (now residing in Maine)
"Thank you Monique!"
Snowshoe adopted from Private Rescue, Monique Kramer (now residing in Maine)
This past February my wife Mandi was searching Petfinder.com to see if we could find a friend for Zazu, our eight year old Black Tri Australian Shepherd. That was when we first saw Snowshoe and heard about his story. Snowshoe is blind and deaf. He was found in the woods in North Carolina left for dead. He was starved nearly to death, was dirty and little more than skin and bones. He eventually was turned over to the people at Pup & Cat Co. and found his way to Monique, a veterinary student at the time.
Neither Mandi nor I had ever heard the term, "Lethal White" before we decided to adopt Snowshoe. His story touched our hearts and after some thought about taking on a special needs dog, we decided that we would go see about Snowshoe. Mandi contacted Monique and set up a meeting to see how Zazu would react to another dog. The first meeting at the Petsmart was a success. We agreed to the adoption. A week later we brought Snowshoe to our home in Cumming. We had no idea what a blessing this dog would be in our lives.
Snowshoe took to our house very quickly. In the finest of Southern traditions, nobody goes hungry around here. In the last nine months, Snowshoe has gained seventeen pounds and now weighs fifty pounds. His favorite treat is Frost Paws, frozen treats for dogs. Snowshoe is a quick study and soon had the layout of the house memorized. Now he navigates about the furniture with ease. Still, Snowshoe is all Australian Shepherd and is rambunctious and full of energy. His brother Zazu still is not sure what to think. Just as any other younger brother, Snowshoe loves to torment his older brother. Snowshoe will nip at or sit on Zazu until he gets his older brother to play with him. When the two boys are not chasing each other around, they just nap on the sofa.
Snowshoe has other canine friends. Next door is Bella, a beautiful black German Shepherd. Also, there is Tripod, a three legged Australian Shepherd who lives with the couple that watch Snowshoe and Zazu when Mandi and I are out of town. Snowshoe likes the cats, but the cats do not like him, or any other dog for that matter. Snowshoe loves to go for a walk. He usually grabs the lead with his mouth and takes the lead. When goes out in the yard he loves to run circles round and about, then slows down to prance like a Lipizzaner Stallion.
Snowshoe loves to ride in the car, but only in daylight. At night, he likes to get in the driver’s lap. Snowshoe made a trip to Florida this past spring. Though we never made it to the beach due to the rain, he was the star at his hotel. The staff at the Fernandina Beach Veterinary Clinic were sad to see him go.
Snowshoe is a great source of inspiration in my life. Despite his handicaps and early raising, Snowshoe has a great zest for life. This little daredevil shows no fear and is always happy. Spending time with Snowshoe will melt the stress away.
Radar & Riley
Short but sweet ... Abbey has a new friend!! She went with me to get him. His name is Syd Caesar. A deaf JRT from a local shelter. He was a "revolving door dog". Turned in by his owners, adopted and returned twice. Everyone said he was "untrainable" and totally out of control. Maybe he would have been easier to train if someone had noticed the poor guy was deaf!!!!
Anyway, he is quite a handful, but he is wonderful to boot. He has very little in the way of manners, and he already understands to "look away, look away!!!" when he doesn't want to "hear" you!!! Little brat! :-)
Abbey went with me to the shelter as a little Deafie Ambassador to show the shelter staff what deafies can be about. They needed to see that they are not untrainable, nor are they impossible, when given a chance to learn that someone is trying to speak to them in ways they can understand. I had Syd sitting in no time for cookies.
I basically took Abbey for that and one other reason. They claimed Syd could not play with other dogs because he was "too much dog" for most. A little tank, and very pushy and bossy. Almost aggressive in play and had a very hard mouth. With Abbey being six months old and full of hell herself, I thought maybe she could tame the savage beast! LOL! (pics of Abbey below)
They played wonderfully within minutes and he learned right quick how much crap and hard biting she would NOT be taking from him! It frustrated him at first because he couldn't understand her sudden attacks. But he learned and now he plays with every dog in my house, including some JRT's that are smaller than he is. Here he is with Abbey once we got him home ...
He has been a pleasure to have in the house. He is good about going outside, he is a charmer to everyone he meets because he loves everyone and thinks people are his playthings. He loves to cuddle and sit on your lap while you watch TV. But he is typical and true to his breed in many ways too. A Holy Terror on four legs when he gets going, he gets into everything and makes me constantly get up and down to correct him. Believe it or not, a basket of tennis balls works wonders for grabbing his attention from across a room to correct him with signs instead of getting up every five seconds. I bounce one off the floor so it bumps him in the rump and he looks up like "what the heck was THAT"? Now he has decided that every tennis ball must NOT have fuzz anymore and he is methodically using his front teeth to remove all of the fuzz a little at a time.
Abbey is growing and is more beautiful every day. When I went to the shelter to look at Syd the girl behind the counter came out and put her hand out to me as if I was to hand her change or something. I just looked at her baffled at first and then suddenly realized she thought I was there to turn my dog in!!!! I was mortified!!! I instinctively bent down and covered her back with my arms, hugging her close. All I could think to say was "No way"!!! LOL! The girl looked at me with a puzzled expression and then realized I was there for some other purpose. I told her no one could PAY me enough to have Abbey, let alone ever see her in a shelter!!! She was the hit of the day there though, let me tell you what. She was sweet and sat beautifully for all of her petting and loving from total strangers.
At home, she is more and more a lady. Polite and now housebroken, she gathers toys for herself and spends her days gnawing anything she can find within reason. I can leave her out at night IF I am sure everything is put away and the gate is closed to the kitchen. She sleeps well through the night and waits patiently for her breakfast. Her limited vision is less and less a problem as she matures. She compensates beautifully and does a great job at "listening" when she can see you. Her hair is growing long and beautifully silky smooth.
I just adore this dog and cannot imagine not having her here in my home! She even plays with all of those thousands of dollars in toys ... you know the ones I am sure ... that I bought and the other dogs look at me like I am stupid. She looks at me gratefully and takes it and plays with it ... almost as if she knows it pleases me. She plays with very toy the other dogs will not touch for whatever reason!
Wing and A Prayer Dog Rescue And Referral, Inc
Foster Home Coordinator
Hey everyone at AussieLads/Lass' all fur faces also included
here please. I am so very glad to see you are still doing such wonderful, loving
and often challenging work.
You may or may not remember me, then simply click on "Stories USA" scroll to Pennsylvania and there we are! My beautiful girls Kira and Angel. A very long way they have come from the fuzzy, furriness of the challenging puppy-hood days! Gosh they were so darn cute.
I thought it past time to let all you guys know how awesome they are and to again thank you guys for all the loving guidance you gave me so freely when I first rescued these balls of fluff. I was terrified I would have no idea how to care for Angel especially, since she was blind and deaf. A double whammy and major challenge to my idea's of normal mommie/pet communication skills. But you guys helped me understand this was a not an impossible challenge, just one that required a different approach, and one that in the end would leave me awed beyond belief. So right all of you were. There were days when I would get so frustrated while trying to teach Angel direction via touch, that I would simply give up out of shear frustration. It wasn't her fault, it was me.. I was a failure I thought and had nearly convinced myself of that very thing. She'd try very hard most days and other times when I would touch her more than a few times, she would decide.. cool it's time to play right? (Some days she still does this, but now after all these years I figure it's her way of telling me "Come on Mom, what the heck, I got it now so let's have fun too okay?") My Angel, the incurable lap dog, ever a love, always compelled to nap and sleep while touching one of us considered her pack mate. At night, jeez, only way I can sleep is with a nose full of Angel hair because she has a thing for my pillows and curling right against me.
Kira, awesome, if not a bit over the edge on her need to always be my companion and know exactly what is happening at any given moment. From cat in litter box, to house bunny where she shouldn't be, to neighborhood dogs that get walked at specific times each day.. Kira is there and KNOWS everything! Nothing gets past her. She reminds me of the nosy neighbor.. always at the door, on the porch, the steps or in the yard keeping track of everyone's goings on.
We no longer live in PA. We moved to the Outer Banks of NC several years ago. I have to say Kira.. very in her glory here. She loves running on the beach, but for the life of me I simply can not get her into the ocean. You can get her to the edge where the waves roll after breaking but even then she runs at them and when the water rolls towards her.. she's gone.. lol She's hysterically funny, a blast to watch and the most loyal a dog that has ever owned me. Though she does seriously suffer from a massive Princess complex. Too many years of people telling her how beautiful she is I guess. Gone to her head in a really big way.
Anyway please keep doing what you all have been doing. Aussies are intelligent, amazing, incredible and wonderfully variable in their personalities. My life has been turned upside down but so incredibly blessed because of my Aussie Gals. They have a way of getting into your heart and under your skin and make you a happy and willing member of their pack. So much so that Angel always gets her personal pillow to the right of me and Kira the best spot in the small of my back when bedtime rolls around. Which is exactly as all three of us like it.
I love all the pics you have on the site, so I am attaching a few of my favorite Aussie Gals pics so you can see how they have grown since their original posted baby pics on your site. Even including a picture of Kira's favorite pastime.. Bunnies and Bunnysitting!
Happy Holidays to all the Aussie Lads Gang from the girls and I,
Angel & Kira rescued from Monticello, KY (now living in Harrisburg, PA)
My sisters and I recently rescued a litter of 4 incredibly beautiful 6 week old Aussies while visiting my Mother in Monticello, Kentucky. The environment they were in was terrible. When we rescued them they were half starved and filled with worms, fleas and ticks. With time, attention, food and love the two little boys got their clean bill of health from my vet and now have a home together for life. The situation is different for my little girls. Angel is what you call a lethal white (double merle). The original owner kept her isolated from the rest of the litter and was planning in drowning her because she was useless. Her right eye is undeveloped and she is blind in her left. During her recent visit to my Vet I received a confirmation that she is deaf also. Thankfully her little heart is good and strong and no murmur is present. She is an absolutely wonderful girl and had my heart and lifetime loyalty the first day I saw her isolated, alone in her dark, silent world. Incredibly she is very social, although she does sleep more than the others, and all in all I feel we saved her before it could totally affect her behavior. Her sister Kira is a lovely Blue and the sweetest thing. She has taken to being my constant companion when I am home and where ever I go she is usually not far behind. Even if it's laying near my bed at night. My Veterinarian tested her and says she has a vision problem also and it will progressively worsen until one day she will no longer see even a shadow. Her hearing is good and strong so I have that to work with over time. I have been unable to locate any books that addresses the combination of deafness and blindness, but I refuse to give up. I have started using vibration and smell with her and it works. Unfortunately, this is a first time experience for Angel and I both. I am currently a Veterinarian technician student so I have no difficulty accepting the responsibility and love for Angel and Kira to do this. In the short time I have had them they have become such a part of me, my life that I thank god for putting them in my life as he has. I feel special to be chosen but not sure of the direction at the same time. I have started a journal all about this and hope to one day look back on it and say look girls, look how far we have come.
I love this breed and find it so difficult the accept that they can be treated so terribly. They are such a proud, loveable, loyal and regal animal that if I could I would have many more.
Any help I can be to the Aussie Rescue will be given 100%. I live in Pennsylvania (the Harrisburg Area) and can help out when you need me to. Be it rescuing, caring or even driving please ask.
Thanks for your time in reading this long worded note. I look forward to meeting and getting to know people that have the same deep awareness, love and respect for any creatures be they societally acceptable or what many feel are disposable because of disability. We are all in it together and it takes lots of love from but a few, to make up for the hurt and insensitivity of many.
Thanks for all the incredible work you do, as trying as it can be I know you do it out of love.
Teresa, Angel & Kira
Stevie & Oso
Hello AussieLads, This is my beautiful boy Stevie and his big brother Oso. They take really good care of each other and of me. I rescued Stevie about a year and a half ago. He was a mess. He is doing better than I could have expected. I walk them without a leash and Stevie does whatever Oso does. Even though Stevie is deaf and mostly blind, Oso is great with voice commands and a wonderful model for Stevie as to what is expected on our walks. Oso is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Keep up the good work. Charlie Thieriot
Scout adopted from Angels for Animals
9/8/04 UPDATE: Some new pics sent by his mom :-)
Scout is the newest member of our family, he was adopted two months a go (February 10, 2004) but it seems like there has never been a time without him.
Willow is Scout's new companion. I adopted her last Friday the 8th of October, 2004.
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