Monday, May 24, 2010

Stress Club: Now accepting New Members

Anyone who knows me knows that I can take stressing out to a whole new level. As one of my talents, I’m pretty darn good at it. In fact, I’m such a good stress monger, I’ll even take on your stress. Bring it on!

My latest obsession, I mean stressor, is over bringing home Pru, our new boxer puppy, who just so happens to be all white. If you take a quick look into the history of the white boxer, you will see there is thought to be a link between white boxers and deafness. It has to do with the absence of pigment cells in the inner ear. The shortage or absence of these cells also is the cause of the white coat. Basically all white dogs (that are white due to the shortage of pigment cells) are at risk of being deaf, not just boxers.

But, here’s how the mind of a stress monger works. I have now fully convinced myself that this could be a huge issue and have worked myself up into a tizzy. What if Pru is deaf? In reality, what’s the big deal anyway? The percentages aren’t that bad really, but I never liked playing the odds and I ALWAYS assume the worst. Why am I even worried? She’s adorable and could be taught hand signals. Amos, our previous boxer, lost his hearing with old age and the hand signals were an awesome way to still communicate and connect with him. So, why am I worked up over this? It’s what I do and I’m damn good at it.

However, I think my stress over the white boxer runs a little deeper, in part, due to the fact that there are still breeders who put them down. How horrible is that? It wasn’t too long ago that white boxers were not even recognized by the AKC. They are now, but they cannot compete as “show” dogs. They can compete in agility competitions, etc. That bothers me too. Why shouldn’t they be able to compete as show dogs? It’s not like they are breed to be all white. Basically 1 in 4 boxers born are white. It’s straight up genetics. A roll of the dice, if you will. If the boxer carries the “white spotting gene”, a litter could have a white pup. I believe that flashy boxers all carry the white spotting gene, since to be considered “flashy” there has to be white covering at least 1/3 of the body. I could be wrong, but I believe flashy boxers are recognized and can be registered with the AKC.

The breeders that are still involved in the practice of euthanizing white boxer puppies, believe they wouldn’t be able to find a happy home for the puppies. It tears me to the core to think about the number of puppies that didn’t make it due to ignorance. Thankfully, there are breeders who display a “white boxer friendly” graphic, to let people know they are not involved in a stupid practice. (Yes Zoë, Mommy used the word “stupid”, sorry!)

So, for many many reasons, I am stressed over little Pru’s arrival at our home. We hope she isn’t unilaterally or bilaterally deaf, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. We are extremely excited and can’t wait to bring her home.

     Meet Pru!


  1. I LOVE boxers. I grew up with them and still have them to this day. They are extremely intelligent (sometimes too much so!), so even if Pru is deaf, she (and you) will cope...and thrive :)