Three years ago, two gorgeous Great Dane girls came into this world born deaf & blind after an irresponsible backyard breeder bred two Harlequin Great Danes together. In pairing together two Harlequin Danes, the breeder produced a genetic defect called “Double Merle.”
A double merle is created when two merle dogs are bred together. It doesn’t matter what color merle or what breed they are. If two merle dogs are bred together, each puppy in the litter has a 25% chance of being born a double merle. A double merle inherits the merle gene twice. One copy of the merle gene causes a marbling effect on the coat and creates lighter spots throughout the solid color coat. In a double merle, the marbling/lightening effect is doubled and the coat becomes predominantly white. Double merles also have a very high chance of being deaf, blind, or both because they lack pigment where it would normally be.
Very often, double-merle puppies are killed at birth. Luckily, Cleo and Skye were given a chance to live!
Although the girls were adopted as puppies, their new family were not ready to provide the care they needed (and deserve!) and the girls were surrendered to a rescue where they lived together in a kennel for a year, waiting for a family that never showed up.
Finally, the pair were placed into a loving foster home and made it to Big Dogs Huge Paws, a rescue specializing in rescuing, rehabilitating, and providing resources for giant dogs in need.
As it turns out, although Cleo and Skye get along together quite well, they aren’t a bonded pair, meaning, they’ll be happy in their own individual loving families! That’s why Big Dogs Huge Paws is looking for two separate families to give these special needs (with emphasis on SPECIAL!) girls the love and lives they each deserve.
A little about Cleo:
After reading my story, you might feel sorry for me but please don’t. Yes I am considered special needs, but I prefer to focus on the SPECIAL part. I do not let something like being deaf & blind stop me from being a princess! As a princess I am one well-behaved girl, even if I do say so myself! I love meeting new people and I am a friendly sociable girl.
Like a true Great Dane my favorite things include cuddling on the couch and giving hugs to my family. As a princess I am very dignified so I know my training; I can sit, stay, lay down, come, and give a hug all through touch commands. I also enjoy a leisurely walk where I will impress you with my leash walking skills.
A lot of people think because I am deaf & blind that I must require a lot of work, but really I am so attentive to my people that I will easily follow your lead. With my amazing sense of smell I can get around perfectly. I am also very intuitive so I am able to sense your emotions. I do get nervous sometimes with other dogs, unfortunately I was picked on by another dog when I was younger. I do ok with other Great Danes if they are well mannered, but really I prefer my human family over other dogs and wouldn’t mind being the only dog. I am even good with children, although I like to give hugs so older children would be better. Do you have room in your life for a princess?
My ABILITY is stronger than my disability! –Cleo
Wondering how a blind & deaf dog can perform cues? It’s easy – by touch! Here’s Cleo demonstrating that with a quick tap on the top of the head, she will sit!
A little about Skye:
Now I am sure after reading my long story I bet you are starting to feel sad for me but please don’t cause I have a BIG secret to tell you…since I was born deaf & blind I know nothing different and I am still a happy, NORMAL, rambunctious, pretty Great Dane girl!!!
I might be shy at first when meeting new people but hey give me a few minutes (and cookies) and I will be your best friend in the whole world! I love cuddling on the couch like a normal Great Dane does! I know my touch commands and will sit, stay, come, and lay down like a perfect lady should! I walk perfectly on a leash and will be your best walking buddy! Also like a typical Great Dane I get the ZOOMIES!
You might be worried about me being blind and how I get around, but don’t worry I have the best sense of smell and I use it to get around great…um well I might run into a wall occasionally buy hey I have a hard head and I am sure you will help to guide me. Hey, you could be my seeing-eye-person!?! Now that you know how great I am I will let you know about my few issues, I wasn’t properly socialized as a puppy and other dogs make me nervous sometimes so I need to be an only dog. I am also a rambunctious girl so I would do best in a family with older kids. I LOVE my people though and my dream is to one day find a family where I can be their one and only. Could you be the family of my dreams??
I cannot hear you say “I love you,” but I can feel the love you give! –Skye
Wondering how a blind & deaf dog can perform cues? It’s easy – by touch! Here’s Skye demonstrating that with a quick tap on the chin, she will lay down!
If you’d like to REALLY get to know Cleo and Skye, follow them on their very own Facebook page, Adopt Cleo & Skye!
Could you be the perfect match for either Cleo or Skye? Here’s what you’ll need to know:
The girls are available for adoption through Big Dogs Huge Paws who adopt throughout CO, UT, WY, TX, NE, KS, OK, NM and MO. (But, transportation can be arranged if the right adopter is found outside the adoption area!)