Krysten Harper, a 30-year-old woman from Alabama in the US, saw beyond the dissimilarities of Little Buddy and Aster Rose. Both dogs were born with deformities due to careless breeding practices, yet Krysten still adored them.
The dog breeding industry faces a major issue with irresponsible breeding practices that can negatively impact the health and wellbeing of puppies. This is something that Little Buddy and Aster Rose, two adorable dogs who were born blind and deaf, can attest to. Sadly, both the pups were born with disabilities due to their parents being merle breeds, which carries a 25% chance of producing offspring with disabilities.
Although they may appear to be twins, the two puppies are not related and only came together two months ago. They were brought together by their adoptive mother, Krysten Harper, who hails from Alabama in the US, and have since become inseparable. According to Krysten, “I wouldn’t change a thing about them.” Krysten first fell in love with Little Buddy, an Australian Shepherd from a rescue facility three years ago. Unfortunately, he had spent two years in the kennels and developed arthritis in his back legs as a result of being in one place for so long.
When Krysten brought him home, it was the beginning of a new challenge for her to learn how to care for a dog with disabilities. The dog would often sleep in corners or hide beneath furniture and cry in the middle of the night. Krysten described him as a “tiny bundle of tension.” Despite his fears and worries, he had a charming personality that drew people to him. He shared a connection with me that felt like we had the same soul. Krysten already had a deaf dog but that didn’t stop her from adding another furry friend to her family. Recently, she adopted a three-month-old Australian shepherd named Aster Rose.
Krysten describes Aster as a confident young woman who enjoys socializing with people and animals alike. In her opinion, everyone is searching for a new friend, regardless of whether they are human or animal. Even though Aster is blind, she can still find the brightest spot in the yard by sticking her nose in the air and feeling the warmth. Despite living life to the fullest, being unable to see or hear brings certain challenges. For instance, teaching her to climb stairs is difficult because it’s a significant obstacle for a small puppy that is both blind and deaf. Krysten remarks that the primary difference in how she interacts with Aster is through touch. She taps her on the lower back to indicate “sit” and places her hand on her chest to signal “stay.” Krysten uses Instagram to draw attention to irresponsible breeding and dogs with disabilities, including sharing pictures of Aster. Although some have commented that Aster appears sick and depressed, Krysten assures everyone that she is the opposite of a depressed dog and is full of energy and joy.
Aster’s infectious joy and zest for life captivates everyone who meets her. Pitying blind or deaf dogs only perpetuates the misconception that they are inferior when in fact, they can still lead fulfilling lives. Little Buddy, whom Krysten adopted, was not to be treated any differently from other dogs despite being blind. As his rescuer wisely advised, this was his normal and he was content with it. Krysten now aims to help other blind and deaf dogs find loving homes and promote their abilities rather than their disabilities through her page’s purpose.