Keller the dog was born with severe visual impairment and deafness due to poor breeding practices. The pretty Australian shepherd is a “double merle,” which is the result of mating two merle-pattern dogs. Merle is a popular color combination of black, brown, white and gray.
Breeders will sometimes attempt to make copies of the parent dogs by combining two merles. This results in nearly white puppies and birth defects 25 percent of the time.
Despite her challenges, Keller is a very happy dog that was adopted by a loving and patient family. She is currently traveling the country with another double merle named Braille that is totally deaf and blind.
The pair are educating people about irresponsible breeding while demonstrating their intelligence and ability to learn. Keller has mastered 25 touch and hand signals and enjoys many of the same activities as a typical dog, including running off her leash. She wears cute pink sunglasses to protect her sensitive eyes.
Keller’s owner said the dog has been such an inspiration to overcoming adversity, she decided to start a non-profit organization called Keller’s Cause. Her goal is to end the suffering caused by irresponsible breeding because not all double-merle dogs are as lucky as Keller and Braille.