Is my dog a bitch or is she just deaf?

Is my dog a bitch or is she just deaf? || The struggles of having a deaf female dog. || Blog post and illustration by Asti @ atypicalnarrative

Yup, that was the question I had to ask myself a couple of years ago once I returned from studying abroad in London. My lovely chow/collie/retriever mix Tasha wasn’t as responsive as she used to be and I just couldn’t decide whether she was being a stubborn bitch, upset that I had left her for so long and flexing her HBIC muscles, or if her old age was finally catching up to her in the form of hearing loss.

It took me a month or two to come to a conclusion but in the end I figured it out: she’s actually a bit of both. My dog is a deaf bitch. Not only is she hard of hearing, but she likes to do what she wants.

(Oh, and hey, she is a female dog so she’s a bitch even on the technical level too. You can’t yell at me for using this word so much when it’s technical!)

Now being an owner of a deaf bitch isn’t too bad. For the most part she’s too lazy these days to get up to any trouble and we do a great job of communicating non-verbally. (There’s nothing like a sassy hands-on-the-hips pose to let a dog know she’s crossing the line.) The one area in which this has become a bit of a struggle though is bathroom breaks.

Oftentimes, if I’m not right at the back door as she is done relieving herself, she will walk towards the gate entrance to the front yard and monitor what’s going on in the neighborhood. And that is fine, old guard dog for the win, but her focus on the outside of the backyard often results in her being faced in completely the wrong direction to notice me trying to call her in. As a result, I end up looking like a damn fool to the neighbors because when this happens I literally windmill my arms around and do a little dance in hopes that she’ll notice the movement out of the corner of her eye and look over to realize it’s time to come inside.

And it usually works… when she’s only being deaf and not being a bitch.

Even if I’m able to get past her deafness to let her know it’s time to come inside, that doesn’t mean she always comes inside. Sometimes she’ll look at me, notice my attempts, and then just stand there. And stand there. And then maybe walk away deciding “oh wait, maybe I do need to relieve myself some more.”

But hey, I can’t say I blame her. By the time I’m her age (83 if you go by this dog age chart) I’m going to do damn well what I please whether I’m deaf or not too. At that point you’ve earned it. But still, that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about it in a blog post, right?

Has anyone had a similar experience to this? I’d like to think I’m not the only pet owner with such struggles. (Please don’t tell me if it’s in relation to your deaf grandma or something, let’s not get that mean. ;)) Or any other quirky struggles you have with your pets that you want to vent about to me? Let me know in the comments below!

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21 Comments

  1. I feel like my cat was more easy-going when she was younger, and that as she has gotten older she has gotten more particular. She’ll still usually pretty sweet, but she’s gone through stages lately where I’ve asked her, “Why are you so ornery?” She’s almost 9 which seems to put her at middle-age.

    • Haha, my dog has always been a bit of a “I do what I want” girl, but before she’d respond to scolding if she acted out whereas now she doesn’t seemed phased by anything. She may recognize that I’m disappointed and it’ll give her pause, but then she realizes she’s old and goes back to doing her thing. Plus, I think she’s a bit senile. We have bags of mulch in the backyard right now because my parents are working on the yard for the wedding and yesterday I caught her tearing a bag open to eat it. These old animals and their ornery ways! Hopefully your cat doesn’t cause too much trouble.

      • Thankfully she doesn’t! Just recently we noticed she has seemed to hurt her paw (for a second time in the past year) so she’s just being a little pitiful…

  2. I have three cats, and each one of them have completely different personalities. Milo, my oldest, is a big ham, he’s kind of obese, wants to eat 24/7 or just sleeps. He’s the definition of a Garfield. Monkey and Bear, who are brothers… Bear loves people and he always needs to be around you, he’s a lover. Monkey is skeptical, he doesn’t like to be touched, and hides a lot. Nothing too exciting, really.

    • I do love how each animal has their own personality. It may not be overly exciting, but I think it’s still quite interesting because people who don’t have pets can just limit them to these brainless creatures. Tasha is mostly like Milo. She’s not obese but sleeping, sniffing, and eating are her life these days. And Mad is like Bear, but a not-so-intelligent one. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all an act but he just has one of those “derpy derp derp” looks.

  3. Haha I love this post! 😍 So quirky but I sense you love that deaf dog! Who is adorable, by the way! 😀 We’ll all be deaf oddballs at age 78 😝

    • Oh, I may complain about her stubbornness but I definitely do love that old deaf dog of mine. And you’re right. By the time I’m 78 I’m going to do what I want so I might as well give her some leeway when she does the same. 😉

    • Hey, being cute doesn’t mean you can get away with EVERYTHING! (But no, you’re right. I can never stay mad at her too long. 😍)

  4. Omg you are not alone AT ALL. My dog is neither dead nor female but he is entirely selective with his hearing and it drives me craaaaazy. 😭😭 I swear he just thinks that human commands are only to be heeded if you have food. Also according to that chart he’s 24 now?!? My baby done all grow’d up.😱

    ALSO YOUR DOG IS BEAUTIFUL AT LEAST SO THAT’S NICE.

    • Aw, twenty-four? He’s still young but definitely growing up! Watch out because that selective hearing will likely only get worse with age, if Tasha’s any indicator. 😉 I do think you make a good point with the food thing – that is a guaranteed way to always get their attention. Maybe I should start waving those around while trying to get her attention to see if that makes a difference (though she’s sort of blind too so I’m not sure she’d notice. Unless I found like a giant steak to wave around. But nah, I rather eat that myself.)

      BUT YES, SHE IS BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL DOGS GET ALL THE LOVE EVEN WHEN THEY ARE DEFIANT. 😍

  5. Tasha is the most adorable, oh my goodness! I completely relate to the struggle of one’s dog being angry & therefore ornery when one comes back after a long time away – I’ve been travelling much more often lately for writing commitments, & my dog is absolutely furious for at least two or three days upon my arriving home. He ignores me, won’t accept treats or tummy rubs or anything. (Of course, he soon realises that I may in fact leave again at any time, which leads to him promptly sticking to my side like a burr & refusing to let me out of the house without him. It’s an interesting dynamic, haha!) We can’t help but love our ridiculous beautiful dogs though, can we? We wouldn’t want them any other way. ❤

    • Haha, yes, we DO definitely love our ridiculous beautiful dogs no matter how much they’re stubborn. It makes me laugh though. You see those videos of touching reunions of people and their pets when they come home from being away and the dogs are usually like flipping out, flailing their bodies side to side or singing or jumping in their arms? Why can’t I have that? Instead I get the silent treatment until she decides she can forgive me for abandoning her. 😝

  6. MY CAT DOES THIS TO ME TOO! Well he ignores me. He’s most definitely not deaf.

    He just blatantly ignores me. I mean sometimes he turns his head and looks at me but then he proceeds to walk off in a different direction while STILL LOOKING AT ME. Asshole. But I love him for it. I love that cats are such dicks. It really makes me laugh and love them more. Am I weird that feel delighted when I see a cat acting like a complete dick to someone else? hahaha.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    • Haha, you might be a BIT weird for that but don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. To be honest, that’s actually the sort of behavior I expect from a cat. They’re all dicks in my book. Part of the reason I prefer dogs instead – I need my pets to love me unconditionally, not act like they’re the HBIC. (Of course, I say that and then realize this whole post is about Tasha because a bitch so maybe I should just give in to the cat ways after all. Dave wants ones in the future when we’re together. 😝)

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