Strangers are often shocked when they see Tim Livesey with his three Australian Cattle Dogs wearing goggles. Many people laugh and take photos while others question why his dogs need goggles. Oftentimes, he’ll make up silly jokes about the rescue pups. He’ll say they’re hiding their true identities or that they need prescription goggles.
As amusing as those explanations are, the true story behind this trio is even better. All three of these Australian Cattle Dogs had rough pasts, and Livesey gladly gave them a loving home.
Meet the Pack
Bella, Bolt, and Bonnie are Livesey’s three rescue dogs. Bella is 7 years old, and she was abandoned in a cardboard box as a puppy with the rest of her litter. Bolt is 2 years old, and he was born with a broken tail, so the breeder wanted nothing to do with him. Now, Bonnie is the newest family member. She is 3 years old and deaf. She was surrendered because her old family didn’t want her anymore.
As soon as Livesey heard about Bonnie, he drove to go meet her. Right away, the deaf pup ran to him and jumped into his arms. It was like she knew she was about to be adopted by the perfect family. So, Livesey brought her home, and Bella and Bolt got along with her right away.
Livesey takes the three pups on lots of long, adventurous hikes. They love exploring outside, and they are always thrilled to visit new places. Livesey has them wear the goggles to protect their eyes from dangerous objects, such as cactus spikes and ultraviolet rays from the sun.
The dogs don’t mind the goggles at all. It took some patience and positive reinforcement training to help the dogs get used to the goggles, but now they love them. In fact, they get excited when they see them because they know that wearing goggles means going on exciting adventures.
Looking Out for Each Other
Bella and Bolt love playing with their deaf sister, but they are also very protective of her. Since Bonnie can’t hear, she doesn’t observe the sounds of nature around her. This helps her sleep in a tent peacefully, but it doesn’t allow her to recognize danger. So, Bella and Bolt are like her protective ears.
Less than two months after Bonnie’s adoption, Bella and Bolt performed a grand gesture to prove their loyalty. Bonnie was sniffing around a bush, unaware of her surroundings. Suddenly, Bolt barked ferociously and ran off toward Bonnie. Bella instantly followed, and Livesey realized that the two dogs were chasing off a coyote that was sneaking up on Bonnie. They were ready to save their sister without hesitation.
The three dogs continue to go on adventures with their loving dad. They frequently take 7-mile walks around their home. On weekends, they go on longer adventures, including climbing Charleston Peak, southern Nevada’s highest mountain. During their trips, Bonnie wears a special collar and leash that say “I’m deaf” on them, along with a bright pink vest that reads “deaf puppy”. That way, strangers will know not to suddenly approach her.
Livesey also trains all three of the dogs using hand signals. He says it’s important because you never know when your dog might suffer from hearing loss. He also encourages others to adopt a deaf dog because adopting Bonnie was one of the best decisions of his life.
To see more adorable photos of the trio’s adventures, check out their Instagram page.