Please don’t feel sorry for my deaf dog!
Ok. So I know that sounds rude and maybe even a little ignorant, but I promise you it is not. I had a talk with the hubby last night and after I said to him “I’m sick of always hearing people say they feel so sorry for Chance.” Chance is our all white-rescued American Bull Dog that is anywhere between 1-2 ½ years old and he happens to be deaf. After I explained to him what I meant, he suddenly agreed with me.
Often the minute I tell people he is deaf. The first thing they say to me is “I feel so sorry for him.” I often reply with funny remarks back as “don’t, he has super powers.” But in all honesty, the truth is to please stop feeling sorry for him.
From what we can tell and know about Chance, he was most likely born deaf. Meaning he never knew what it was like to hear. Unlike humans, he does not know he has a disability. He has no clue in this world that not being able to hear isn’t normal. It doesn’t make him any different then any of other pets.
Now don’t get me wrong. Training is definitely a little bit different then with my other two ‘hearing’ dogs. However, it’s kind of common sense. With them you can raise your voice. They can tell by the tone if you are mad or happy or sad. With Chance he can’t. But does that doesn’t make him any less equipped to learn. His other senses are actually heightened. This is where I joke that he has super powers. His eyesight is amazing. I’m telling you he can see an ant a mile a way! His sense of smell is also quite crazy amazing. He can be in our backyard that is fenced in with a six foot privacy fence that he can not see through and he knows when Jeremy or I. are home. He can smell. He also knows when it is dinnertime with out me calling him. The minute I open the food bin, it doesn’t matter how passed out he is and comfy in bed, he comes running.
Teaching him when he is wrong is a little bit different then teaching the others. When I am mad I wave my arms like a crazy person and make crazy facial expressions. Yes I’m still yelling. Yes he can’t hear me. But he knows I am yelling. Smacking him on the nose lightly or the butt is also another way he knows he in big trouble.
When we got Chance he had a few training issues. My guess wasn’t because he was deaf. It was because he hadn’t found his forever home and was bounced around quite a bit.
With in two weeks we had him potty trained. He even barks now when he has to go and when he wants in. Sure his bark is a little funny since he can’t hear himself. But nonetheless it’s a bark just like any other dog.
He had a habit of chewing things he shouldn’t chew. Several remote controls, some DVD’s, a k-cup (yes that was frightening), and countless other things. He learned real quick that toys were meant for chewing and other stuff was a big no no! Does he still have little mistakes? Yes, but just like my other dogs the minute I walk up to him what ever he has decided to chew on, he tilts his head sideways and gives me that “I didn’t mean to, I won’t do it again” look.
Chance has benefits that even I don’t have! He gets to sleep so peacefully without being disturbed by all the neighborhood noises and our two cats running around acting like idiots. Trust me, when he’s sleeping, as long as there isn’t food with in a 1 mile radius, he’s zonked out! He is smart enough to sleep on the other dogs. This way if something happens he is alerted by them moving. Then he can wake up too.
When I walk out of a room, I pat his head and let him know I’m leaving the room. When I leave the house I do the same and wave goodbye. There has been a few times I’ve gotten up to shower and next thing you know he wakes up a few minutes later and is running through the house searching for me, only to end up with his head in the curtain staring at me all wide eyed.
Basically Chance is a normal dog. He just can’t hear. Sure had he lost his hearing after living several years with it, then you might be able to feel sorry for him. But we are pretty sure he has never had the ability. He is a regular happy puppy. The effort in training him really isn’t any more then any other puppy.
I don’t let my hearing dogs off their leashes when out in public. Matter of personal opinion and I’m an over protective furr Mom who would prefer my furr children not accidently slip away or chase a rabbit. Same goes with him. He couldn’t hear me call him back if I did and that could be tragic. Yet outside in the yard he knows to look up every few minutes to make sure I am not trying to get his attention.
When he wants to ignore me just like any other dog he can be a brat. He will look down and not look up. I see him peak at me still, but he continues on what he is doing. Until I am hand signaling him an inch from his face and he realizes uh oh Mom’s mad.
At nighttime I simply flash my porch light a few times and he comes running up the porch stairs to come in.
So basically what I am saying here is don’t feel sorry for him. He doesn’t feel sorry for him and I sure don’t. He is healthy, spoiled rotten, loved, and smart! He is no different then any other dog.
For people who are adopting a new dog. Don’t turn a deaf dog away. Don’t think it’s going to be more work. It’s just as much work as any other dog. No different.
If anything adopting a deaf dog is cooler then a hearing because seriously the super powers. Plus not going to lie, he is super obsessed with always being by my side. But hey that might just be his personality. I’m bias. LOL.