If you love dogs, you probably agree that practically every breed is beautiful. You’ve got your favorites, of course; but in general, any happily wagging tail tends to warm your heart.
Nevertheless, today’s dog breeding industry understands the importance of outward appearance. So in many cases, certain pups are bred to produce a pleasing ear shape, a striking eyeshade, or some other appealing trait.
Ever heard of a blue merle, for example? According to The Animal Guardian Society, the name refers to a distinctive color pattern typically found in Australian shepherds.
These canines are specially bred to produce their beautiful mottled fur. It’s usually characterized by an attention-grabbing array of whites, grays, tans and blacks.
But certain breeding circles feel that a snowy-white shade is particularly picturesque. This has prompted some highly irresponsible breeding practices that can produce a pup known as the “double merle.”
No doubt about it: Double merles are absolutely gorgeous with their radiant white coats. But The Dogington Post explains that this aesthetic comes at an extremely high cost.
Double merles can’t produce vital pigmentation, you see. That inability renders most of them utterly blind and deaf.
While the breeding practice itself is globally condemned, you can still find shops that sell these pets to unsuspecting adopters. Thankfully, kindhearted folks like Christine Bray are willing to give these deserving dogs a caring home for life.
Bray’s double merle, Opal, is definitely breathtaking to behold. True to her breeding heritage, however, this super-sweet pooch can neither see nor hear.
But that hasn’t stopped Opal from being a fantastic furry friend to her beloved humans. A recent Facebook video posted by Bray demonstrates that Opal actually uses her nose to sense when her owner’s car pulls up.
Viewers across social media are moved and amazed by Opal’s abilities. The alert pooch stands in her front yard, cold wet nose in the air, angling her head in all directions.
“This is my favorite part of the day,” a female voice explains, most likely Bray’s. Suddenly, Opal begins prancing and frolicking through the grass — and sure enough, a gray sedan appears moments later.
“She knows,” laughs the female narrator, “look at that smeller work.” But experts maintain that we humans shouldn’t necessarily be too surprised.
Noted neuropsychological researcher Stanley Coren explains that a canine’s sense of smell is often astonishingly sensitive. Larger dogs, he says, can have up to 300 million scent receptors in their noses.
Another recent Facebook post from Bray explains that she never knew about the double merle breeding practice before purchasing Opal. But now that her dear girl is a cherished part of the family, Bray is warning other potential buyers to do their homework in advance.
Meanwhile, Opal energetically navigates each new day with her incredibly powerful sniffer. Armed with that, and a whole lot of unconditional love, she’s sure to enjoy a wonderful life.
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