It’s now part of Emmett’s permanent record.
There it is, right at the top of his chart at his new vet’s office:
To be honest, and to get my guilt out there, when asked how long it’s been in decline… well… I have no idea. None. Last year we were consumed with Lucas. If Emmett’s hearing loss started even a year ago, we missed it. And, frankly, I suspect he’s been experiencing it slowly over a long period of time because he has compensated so dang well, well enough that, if you didn’t know him inside and out, you probably might not notice at all.
He’s found himself a hearing ear dog!
Here’s the funny thing: Emmett was never Cooper’s biggest fan. He liked him OK but in an annoyed-big-brother kind of way. Somewhere along the line, though, Emmett realized the value of Cooper.
Cooper jumps up and runs when called for dinner; Emmett sprints after him.
Cooper dashes to the door when called in from the yard; Emmett follows.
Cooper leads the way on walks and hikes; Emmett knows when we’re stopping, turning, or crossing.
On a couple occasions, particularly when they’re out doing dog stuff in the yard, Emmett won’t see Cooper come to the door. Emmett will keep doing his dog things (finding gross rabbit poop to snack on), then look up, look around… and realize, all of a sudden, that he’s by himself. If he doesn’t see Coop, he gets kind of lost and starts darting about looking for him.
Same thing in the house. If he can’t see us or Cooper, he starts pacing. Even if we call him really loudly, it’s sort of tricky in our new house because the upstairs has an open loft area above the kitchen, and Emmett gets confused. So, one of us goes down (or up) to fetch him, or…
We send Cooper!
It’s funny watching their relationship evolve. Emmett’s become more tolerant and forgiving of Cooper’s shenanigans, and in turn, Cooper’s stepping up and sticking by Emmett’s side. (Honestly, I think Cooper has always wanted to be glued to Emmett. He looks up to his big brother. Until recently, until Emmett needed him, Emmett didn’t allow too much of that. Now? They’re together all. the. time.)
It’s nice, and it makes my heart happy to see them bonding like this. We really weren’t sure how this would evolve, but they’re doing so well. Better, really, than before. Which is bittersweet.
Overall, I think Cooper’s glad to have a job, and Emmett’s glad to know when to come in for dinner! If the weather changes–it’s snowing in April, for heaven’s sake–we may take them on a short hike this weekend; otherwise, Emmett will be content to follow Coop around the backyard and go on his weekend trip to Lowe’s with John!
Happy weekend! Any special plans for you and your pups?