Meet Blue Bayou!
Blue Bayou is a Shetland Sheepdog that has been blind from birth. He was the result of an
accidental blue merle to blue merle breeding. These pairings have a 20% chance of each puppy being
blind, deaf or dying in utero. Bayou is fortunate that he has excellent hearing and some light/dark
perception. The dog ophthalmologist says Bayou has no useful vision. He will hide his eyes from
bright sunlight, however.
We brought Bayou home at five weeks when his breeder decided they did not want the responsibility
of a blind dog. He was an adorable bundle of silver, gold and white fuzz with perfect tipped ears.
Bayou has grown into a 17 inch, sturdy adult. We have had another blind dog for years and felt our
experience would help us in caring for Bayou.
When Bayou was tiny his breeders tried to force him to nurse when he was too weak to suckle. He
would exhaust himself fighting them before they would feed him with a bottle. This treatment left
Bayou with severe panic reactions to being restrained. We feed Bayou tiny bits of cheese every
couple minutes to encourage him to stand still for grooming. He has a huge coat that takes quite a
bit of time to brush through.
Bayou responded well to the clicker training system for obedience work. He was an apt pupil using
this reward and sound based system. Bayou’s hearing is acute and he can locate me by the sound of
my footsteps. He is a happy, rowdy, affectionate and responsive dog.
We have seven other Shelties. Bayou runs and plays with the group. He occasionally takes a nip for
blundering into one of the more dominant dogs. Bayou’s heavy ruff keeps these reprimands from
seriously discomfiting him. He gets around our one acre fenced grass dog yard confidently. Bayou
walks on leash with me. He shows minor apprehension in unfamiliar locations. If we got him out and
away from home more he’d gain confidence.
Bayou offers a stuffed toy to his best Sheltie friend, Leto, and they play wild chase games for
possession of it. He obviously enjoys life and we love our Silver Bullet!