Do you love autumn too?

By By Benny Huckleberry as told to Liz Hoffmann | Sep 13, 2019

I love autumn! The cooler evenings, the thinning crowds of summer tourists, and the longer hikes. Don't get me wrong, I love summer, too. But I often get very hot under all this fur, the mosquitoes are out in full force, and it's uncomfortable. Most important of all, autumn is also the season when I was rescued and adopted, and that's the most important reason I love it!

It was September of 2013 that I was pulled out of a high-kill shelter in Ohio by a wonderful woman named Patty. I didn't know if she was wonderful at the time, but she saved my life. Patty took me and my siblings from that scary metal cage in the shelter to the safety of her warm and dry garage. It was there that she cared for dogs and kitties and foster puppies like us until we all were ready for transport, and to find our new homes. For us, it was me, my two brothers, and my three sisters. We were all very little, very scared, and two of my sisters were deaf.

The deaf girls had the same coloring as me, and apparently, it’s very unusual. We have light brown spots and dark brown spots on pale tan fur. Add to that a white chest, white boots with bright pink and black paw pads, and that’s us! It's unusual and stunning and what humans refer to as a "double merle” color. It takes two recessive genes joining together to get a pup that looks like me, which makes for a beautiful dog, but also produces other recessive traits that are not so good. Many double merle dogs also suffer from deafness and blindness. Two of my sisters ended up being deaf and their eyesight wasn't good, either. For some reason, while I got that same special coloring, my eyesight and hearing are normal. I guess I really am a lucky guy.

Anyway, this woman Patty noticed that I was the gentlest puppy of the litter. And because of my sensitivity and “softness,” Patty put me with my two deaf sisters together in one kennel, while the other, more rough-and-tumble puppies were put all together in another kennel. Patty called me "Huckleberry" because at that time, my spotted puppy fur had a pinkish hue. Even more remarkable than that, was the fact that I would protect my two sisters. Being sensitive, I knew that there was something not quite 100 percent about them (their hearing), since they didn't respond like my other litter mates. There would be a loud, scary noise and they wouldn't flinch. Patty would call us at dinner time, and they wouldn't move. I noticed that they didn’t respond to any sounds, and so when they needed to wake up or go for treats -- I would tap them with my paw to alert them. Patty always says that from the moment she saw me do this, she knew I was a very special pup, indeed.

Fast-forward to a month later in early October when we were old enough to head north on transport. My perfect-hearing siblings and I went to a municipal shelter in New York, while my two deaf sisters went to another shelter where more people go who will adopt deaf dogs. It worked out well for all of us, and I have even met one of my brothers since then. I hope to meet one of the deaf girls I protected too. I am waiting for that day!

So, as you can see, autumn is when I got saved, sheltered sent north and then adopted by my beloved human Liz. It really is my most lucky time and my most favorite season. Do you have a favorite season like that too, or a time when your luck began to change for the better? Let me know!

With love, Benny Huckleberry

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