Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, November 13, 1993, Image 54
BtO-Lancwfcf Fanning, Saturday, Novambar 13, 1993 LOU ANN GOOD Lancaster Fanning Staff MANHEIM (Lancaster Co.) Like most farm families Nancy and Ardith Waltz have a dog that roams free on the land. Visit the Manheim farm tucked in back of a winding farm lane, and Jody will greet you with a friendly wag of the tail. When Nancy or Ardith call Jody, the Australian Blue Heeler, is off and tunning. There is no hesitation, no awk ward gait or confused whining to indicate that Jody is different than other dogs. But 9-year-old Jody does not have eyes. Two years ago, glauco ma, an eye disease, erupted swiftly, and both eyes needed to be removed. The Waltz family was devas tated. They thought that Jody would need to be put to sleep. But they found a veteranian who assured diem that in 10 days Jody would adjust to the blindness and find ways to cope. “She adjusted quicker than we did.” Nancy said, “She never showed that she was in pain, never complained.” The feisty dog was soon follow ing Nancy around as confident as if she could see with both eyes. Although Jody mingles freely with the many cats on the farm, she is off and chasing if one of the cats takes off running. “Dogs are just like children,” Nancy said. “Lots of TLC (tender, loving care) is everything she needs.” Nancy said that the family has a special affinity for Jody because it’s like having a handicapped child Both of Jody’s eyes have been removed but she can retrieve the ball for her master or mistress because she depends upon smell and sound to guide her. direct her to a faca-to-faca confrontation with ona of tha hard being raised tor direct sales of beef on RMga Raid Farm. Blind Dog Plays Ball, Herds Cattle, Knows Boundaries even though she doesn’t act handicapped. “She’s a -real joy,” she said. Because the dog was so well acquainted with the farm before her eyes were removed, Jody knew instinctively where to find open doors, ho* bed, food, and other necessities. The one thing the Waltz family does is string baler twine across the bottom of upper bam doors to warn the dog to stop. They put hay bates at the bottom of hay holes so that if Jody falls, the hay will provide a soft landing. But, Jody is an amazing dog who by and large seems to be able to fend for herself. She does not bump into things when going from one place to another. When Nancy starts the 4-wheeler, Jody leaps up for a ride. She likes tractor rides around the 89 acres that the Walt zes plant in com, tobacco, wheat, and hay. The purebred Black Angus and Charolais-cross cattle that the Waltz’s raise on the farm is another attraction for Jody even though she cannot see them. “Losing eyes no reason to get rid of a dog,” Nancy said. “The expense to remove them is worth it.” The vet told us that most people don’t want dogs without eyes. The New Jersey vet, who specilizes in ophthalmology (diseases of the eye), travels to different clinics across the states to help dogs like Jody. If the disease is caught in time, it can often be treated with medication. Since the operation to remove the eyes. Jody does not need to take any special medica tion. A 4-wheeler ride around the farm with Nancy Is one of Jody’s favorite activities. The red barns and buildings surrounded by roHlng acreage, a pond, and trees, make Ridge Field Farm one of the most attractive farms in the area. Although she can no longar tea, the Instincts of the Australian Heeler breed remain Intact as Jody waits for Nancy’s command to herd cattle on the Waltz farm. Blindness does not stop Jody from playing catch. Jody's hearing and small com pensates lor the loss of eight. As long as she can hearths ball zinging through the air, she’s off and running to retrieve It.