A few years back I started communicating with Bernard Lima-Chavez who works at the Humane Society of Greater Miami when he asked us here at Deaf Dogs Rock to list a few deaf dogs on our website in the adoptable deaf dogs section. Not long after our introduction, I asked Bernard if he could go rescue a deaf puppy for us. Not only did he communicate with the person who had the puppy, he jumped in his car and transported the puppy back to Miami. If that kindness wasn’t enough he also fostered the deaf puppy and named him Foster. In the end, Bernard adopted the deaf puppy named Foster and added him to his family to be a buddy for his deaf dog Edison. Our Deaf Dogs Rock Team feels blessed to work with such a giving and kind Rescue Warrior!
~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
My name is Bernard LimaChavez. I am a veterinary technician, I currently manage the foster care, enrichment and the transport programs for the Humane Society of Greater Miami. I write a blog, Dog & His Boy (www.dogandhisboy.com), which is really a love letter to dogs all dogs but most especially the deaf ones.
It all started with Edison’s ears. As a pup, they folded forward and to the center, laying flat against his head, oddly drawing attention to his amber green eyes. After looking beyond the absurdity of two pinnnas pointed in all the wrong directions, I realized something else about those ears: they didn’t work, at least not in any traditional sense.
He was deaf, and with that realization, an epiphany: I was his person and he was my dog. He had chosen me, and by accepting him, I embraced a whole new world of animal welfare: deaf dog advocacy. By opening my home to Edison, I willingly, no, I willfully embraced not only the honor of caring for him and teaching both of us ways to communicate with each other, but I also accepted the responsibility to be his advocate in every sense of that word. The manifestation of that responsibility has been passionate and varied but with one commonality: Though he is Edison, my magic unicorn who sings often and offkey, who must lay his head in my lap every single night, who follows me from room to room, with his eyes if not his feet, whose wagging tail can beat back the worst of days, he is also “Edison”, a symbol of deaf dogs everywhere who need a warm bed, a family who teaches them basic life skills and ways to receive information from the people and world around them and, most importantly, to find their person who keeps them safe and fills them with love.
Both Edison my dog and “Edison” the symbol of deaf dog rescue have been among the great joys and blessings in my life, right up there with meeting my future husband and finally being able to say, “I do”. Except those days when he eats my good socks.