Silent White

Certain breeds aren't meant to be white. However, many people desire the look of an all-white or mostly-white dog.

But what happens when the must-have breed... doesn't come in white?

Well, in order to accommodate those buyers, some breeders choose to make their "supply" decisions based solely on demand, while disregarding health and responsibility.

Why do health and responsibility come into play? Because irresponsible breeding practices (such as inbreeding) can lead to severe health problems, for both the canine parents and their offspring. Example: for certain breeds, white offspring are more likely to be deaf and/or blind.

Why so? In an attempt to avoid the boredom factor, here's a quick overview: Piebald genes are the pigmentation genes that determine a dog's coat color. For affected breeds, a predominantly-white coat color increases the risk of hereditary deafness. That risk is even higher for dogs with little pigmentation around the face area (which is often the look that's desired by breeders and buyers of white dogs.)

These affected breeds aren't necessarily meant to be white... they're bred to be white. So, in simple terms, their white appearance is often acquired through genetic defects, which can lead to health issues such as deafness, blindness, skin allergies, etc. (This is the case for affected breeds, not all breeds.)

But let's be honest... do most buyers want to purchase a deaf or blind dog? Well, no. Do most buyers even realize that they're buying a deaf or blind puppy upon purchase? Of course not. Sooo... what happens next? Well, that's where the heartbreak comes in...

When someone doesn't know that their dog is deaf, they'll often wrongfully accuse that dog of mischief... because the puppy "doesn't listen." And before the owner realizes that the problem is actually deafness --not misbehavior-- many of these dogs are punished for their "misbehavior" with beatings and abuse.

But sooner or later, the owner will realize that their new puppy is deaf, blind, or unhealthy. Once that happens, the dog is often dumped at an animal shelter.

Deaf puppies don't last long in shelters. Their disability is what got them there, and that's what'll keep them there. And more often than not, that's the reason they'll be killed there.

Unless... they're a Lucky Dog...

Tucker & Diamond

Meet Tucker
This past summer, Tucker survived the devastating F5 tornado that swept through the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. After enduring the terrifying, traumatic storm --and miraculously, surviving the ordeal-- he ended up in the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter.

The shelter quickly fell in love with Tucker's adorable face, ears, and personality. But regardless... from an adoption standpoint, Tucker already had 3 strikes against him. Tucker is a Pit Bull. Strike one. Tucker is a very large dog. Strike two. Tucker has special needs; he is deaf. Strike three.

When I called the shelter after the storm, I asked them to send me the dogs that no one else would take. And for obvious reasons, Tucker was on the list.

Tucker had lived a very "unlucky" life. Irresponsible breeding brought him into a world without sound. Later, a horrifying tornado almost ended his life. Then, a tragedy-stricken shelter became his final option.

Until... he came to me. That's when Tucker became a Lucky Dog.

Tucker is one of the most handsome, loving, loyal boys I know. He has the most adorable spotted ears --one floppy, one standing at-attention. And his athletic physique would make any of my guy friends way-jealous.

Obviously, Tucker is deaf. But Tucker doesn't listen with his ears... he listens with his heart. Maybe he doesn't know the sound of my voice. Maybe he doesn't even know his own name. But when I call him, he comes running every time. Not because he hears my voice... but because he feels my love.

Meet Diamond
Diamond was dumped in an animal shelter in Andalusia, Alabama. Just like Tucker, she had the same three strikes against her: Pit Bull. Large. Deaf.

The shelter workers fell in love with Diamond's adorable little face, her fun spirit, and her loving nature. But of course, none of the adopters ever looked Diamond's way.

For months, that shelter was Diamond's home, and for the first time in her life, she had food, warmth, and love. Finally, she felt safe.

But Diamond wasn't safe. The shelter was filling quickly, with no potential adopters for Diamond. So, in an attempt to give her one last shot at life and love, the shelter director, Christin Ball, placed Diamond on Pet Pardons.  

Christin is a friend of mine, so I knew just how much Diamond meant to her. I also knew that she'd had no offers of help, and time was out. 

So... I made the decision to take Diamond. What I didn't realize... was that I made that decision... on Christin's birthday. So, with a little mischief and a lot of love, I sent her the following message: "I couldn't afford to buy you a present, so I'm saving Diamond instead. Happy Birthday, Christin.Your wish came true."

Diamond is so special... I could immediately see why the shelter workers loved her so much. She's so eager to please, and so proud of herself when she does something good. I'm proud of her, too.

Diamond and I communicate through hand signals and positive reinforcement. But mostly, we communicate through love. And trust me... there isn't a word of it she doesn't hear with her heart.

Tucker & Diamond are both fully-vetted & ready for adoption with Lucky Dog Rescue in Meridian, Mississippi (transport can be arranged to amazing adopters).

Click to fill out Adoption Application for Tucker or Diamond: http://www.petpardons.com/adoption 


  1. I have personally had the pleasure of meeting both of these amazing pups. We played, walked on a leash, the whole nine yards. Nothing slows these two down, they are wonderful!

    -Tressa from Wyoming

  2. Ashley you are an Angel. They both are beautiful and special miracles.

  3. I read your blogs and I am always left with tears streaming down my face. I wondered why until I realized that it's because I wish so much that my own parents loved me half as much as you love your dogs. I appreciate all that you do for your lucky dogs and for educating society to help encourage change. You're simply amazing Ashley!

  4. You are a special angel on earth! Bless you for all you do and for your huge heart! I have a deaf cocker spaniel. She wasn't born that way, but due to numerous ear infections over her 13 years of life, the scar tissue has built up to the point of her hearing loss. Lacey is such a sweetheart! We still communicate quite well, possibly from the years she did hear. Her life still seems normal from what I can tell. I hope being deaf does not scare everyone away from adopting a dog. They still have all the love and affection a hearing dog can give!

  5. The first cat I ever rescued is deaf. When I rescued him he was a kitten that was acting like he was hit in the head and couldn't walk without falling over. Since this kitten lived in a feral colony that was taken care of by my boss I saw the kitten everyday and knew something was wrong. Turns out he had a bacterial infection which I believe was in his ears because he was able to recover but this left him still wobbly and what I later learned deaf. Not to mention he has the Feline Herpes Virus that he became infected with at a young age because every cat in the colony has it. I took months of what I call his physical therapy to allow him to start walking, jumping and even just looking up again and though he still has issues I don't have to treat him any differently than I do my 5 other rescues that came after him. Out of my tabbies he actually listens the best I say. Haha! He takes clues from the other cats when its time to eat or come inside and quickly learned when I wave my hand I want him to come so he does. He is very smart and clever because deaf animals have to be to survive. He is also a real sweetheart, loves to meet new kitties, especially young kittens and is respected in my cat pack. He has made me want to rescue other disabled animals because they seem to have such loving and giving personalities. I bet these two dogs would be great pets. They just need some structure and I'm sure a home with a dog that can hear will help them get around. Other than that they just need love.

  6. I am a volunteer dog walker at the local shelter in California & foster mom. We have been getting quite a few white, deaf, pit bulls, boxers & pit mixes. They are all sweet & loving. One named Ivory got adopted as a pup & returned for "not listening". She is such a sweet energetic girl but she has been at the shelter since June 1st probably since she is deaf. We also have a deaf pit mix named Bagel, who has been at the shelter since July. They both participate in playgroup with other dogs & I don't think they even realize that they are different. Diamond & Tucker are so lucky to have found you! Thank you for all that you do for these special kids.

  7. All though i love all dogs for somestrange reason i have a soft spot in my heart for pit bulls, so reading that that was reason enough for a strike was really heartbreaking!

  8. I have a soft spot in my heart for pit bulls so hearing that that was reason enough for a strike was really heartbreaking!!!!!!!!

  9. I recently took in an all white Boxer named Denver. He's beautiful with his white fur and blue eye, but I'm afraid he too may be deaf. He is the most loving, kind hearted foster I've had the pleasure of taking care of. When he came to me he was so emaciated he could barely walk, and hung his head and tail in shame. Today he is a beautiful, stocky, happy guy. Keep up the good work! Often when I'm experiencing trouble with fostering (but mostly the humans around me not the pups) I turn to your blog, and can see I'm not going through any of it alone.

  10. I've known white cats to be deaf and I assumed some white dogs could be as well. Its sad that there is so much greed in this world that they breed for perfection but really, perfection is impossible and people don't get that. Sometimes the most "perfect" are the ones who have the most problems because they love the most.

  11. Ashley,

    I just came about this blog innocently while I was doing a Google search for advocacy programs for pit bulls. I must say that upon reading several of your blog entries that I was overwhelmed with the love and devotion I see from you for these immensely spectacular dogs. Your entiments and feeling echo what's in my heart and soul.

    I live in NYC and it's very difficult to find an organization strictly dedicated to the resuce and placement of pit bulls. These dogs suffer the worst backlast of societal ills and human ignorance than any other breed of dog combined, and I'm sick to death of it.

    My wife and I have a beautiful 16-month old pit bull named Skye. She is the most loving, loyal, affectionate and intelligent dog I have ever had any personal experience with. We also have a Yorkie/Chihuahua mix named Susie. She's our first baby of the house and she's not 15 years old, and Skye gets along very well with her.

    We got Skye from our young nephew who could no longer care for her because of his work schedule where he's away for days at a time. I fell so much in love with that dog that I asked him if I can have her. Now, she's living in all the luxuries that we can give to her. Yes, she's spoiled, but she's by far the sweetest dog ever and I know that she is typical of the breed, not the exception.

    I want to do so much to help fight for the rights of these dogs in any way that I can. I love them enormously and it breaks our hearts to learn how cruel so mnany people are to them and how Breed Specific Legislation in certain cities are murdering these poor innocent dogs by the several thousands every year -- all because of what they are. They have no voice. We must be their voices; their protectors; their salvation.

    I recently created a page on Facebook called "Pit Bulls: America's Original Dog". I'm trying very hard to reach a lot of people in an effort to educate them about the true history and inherent nature of pit bulls.

    Hopefully I can succeed.

  12. I'm probably the only man posting on this blog! :-)

    But, hey, we all love pit bulls and it's people like us sticking together and fighting for their rights to exist and have loving homes with security and care.

    Every night I come home and in the evenings when I'm on my recliner watching TV Skye jumps up, curls up and falls asleep on me -- many times with her head on my check or arm. I just look at her and I cannot believe how anyone can be so cruel to such an amazing animal.

  13. I am so sorry for all my type-os...

  14. You have a very good blog. White dogs would not do where we live. We live on the side of a mountain in S. Colorado and most of the year we have snow. A white dog would be lost in the back yard most of the time. I volunteer for a German Shepherd Dog Rescue and blog for them as well as maintain one of our own. www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com, where I often blog about our 4 dogs. I also do a blog for Mother Earth News magazine where I profile our lifestyle and our dogs. That can be found under the happy homesteader. I like you blog and will follow it. Now Rob isn't the only man to comment on your blog...

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