|Nikky is a 3 1/2 year old female Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. Natasha is a 3 year old Siberian Husky. Nikky is special in that she is deaf. Congenital deafness is somewhat common in Australian Shepherds. Deafness occurs when the nerve cells in the ears lack pigment required for them to form correctly. She is the product of irresponsible merle (a coat color) to merle breeding. Even though Nikky is considered "special", she has no idea anything is wrong with her. In order to communicate we use hand signals and body language.