**want to learn more about basil? head over to a lethal white, a blog devoted to the mr. b! (it's still a work in progress!)
basil is our blind and deaf, "lethal white", or more accurately, double merle australian shepherd. in a word, he's awesome. but first, a little bit about why he is the way he is. when two merle-colored aussies are bred together, there's a 25% chance you'll get a puppy like basil. actually, most double merles are either just deaf or just blind, but some are both. there are no other associated health problems, these dogs have the same life expectancy as a 'normal' aussie.
white aussies are the product of irresponsible breeding. plain and simple.
but, as you can imagine, there are still lots of irresponsible breeders out there. it's hard for a breeder to sell a dog that can't see/hear. it's just as hard for a rescue to get them adopted out. often, the breeders kill the little puppies when they see they are mostly white. sad face for sure.
but not basil! he survived. probably by working his way into the heart of whoever decided he should live, by nuzzling, wagging his tiny, fluffy tail, and absolutely jumping for joy when he "sees" said person. or at least that's how he won our hearts. we adopted basil when he was about 5 or 6 (feb. 2008) and he has been sean's favorite ever since. (he lies and says he loves lola just as much, but he doesn't. plus, lola's mine.)
basil is 100% house trained and was when we adopted him. he can sit, shake and roll over on touch commands. he loves going for walks and prances around the hood like nobody's business. but he also is a bit anxious and requires a lot of patience.
a special needs dog is definitely not for everyone (but you also don't have to be an expert dog owner or trainer).
**warning: stepping up on soap box. this is *my* issue that i care so much about.**
i cannot wrap my mind around why so many people go to breeders for family pets. there are tons of dogs-- puppies, pure bred, older-calmer dogs, hyper-great-running-partner dogs, dogs that are good with children, lap dogs, well, you get my point -- all in shelters and rescues everywhere looking for a home (same goes for cats!). many of them only have a few days to live. so, adopt! and bonus points for adopting a special needs dog, like basil!