Thank you to Tamara Kelly for sending me Bonnie’s Happy Tail! I just love reading stories with a happy ending when it comes to saving and raising deaf dogs! According to my deaf dogs Nitro, Bud and myself, you and Bonnie totally ROCK! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock



Bonnie’s Happy Tail written by Tamara Kelly

My name is Tamara Kelly and this is how Bonnie found her way into the Kelly family. My husband owned a dog already, Duke, a Rottweiler. In his puppy months we decided that he should have someone other than the cats to play with. So, I went on the search of a puppy for Duke—I never thought I would end up finding a dog for me. A lady had posted on Facebook needing to get rid of a young deaf female puppy; she was 16 weeks old, the same age as Duke, so my husband and I went out to take a look. When we arrived, there stood this beautiful blue eyed Catahoula Leopard puppy that stole my heart then and there. I learned she had been re-homed many times due to the fact that no one had the time to give her the proper care because she was deaf. Bonnie was named Karma in the beginning but that didn’t fit her. I renamed her Bonnie because of her eyes; if you have ever seen “Gone with the Wind,” Rhett Butler and Scarlet have their first child and name her “Bonnie” because of her blue eyes. That’s how Bonnie got her name. The night we brought Bonnie home to meet Duke, I was worried that Duke would fight with her or something would go wrong. Well, we walked in and it was the most amazing thing. Duke and Bonnie smelled each other up and down and it was ike they had known each other for years. From that moment on Duke and Bonnie became best friends.


As I trained Bonnie in sign language, Duke learned it as well. (I think he was just there for the free treats at first.) When they come in at night from running around in our fenced-in yard, Duke will come to a whistle and Bonnie will normally follow. When she doesn’t we will say to Duke “go get Bonnie.” He will run back and find her and I guess tell her to come in. They are incredible, these two.

Bonnie is now all grown up and lives the life of one happy deaf dog.


Bonnie is the sweetest, fun-loving creature I have ever known. I thought training her would be hard, but I soon learned that this was no different than training any other dog. Bonnie is also a great bed fellow, especially when I am sick in bed. She loves to watch movies. She might not be able to hear them, but she loves to lay out on the couch and watch. Titanic is her favorite—even “Blood and Steel” which is a mini-series about everything that lead up to the Titanic sailing.

I had a custom collar made for Bonnie in pink that says “Deaf Dog.” Bonnie loves the color pink; she has everything that is pink. When buying toys for Bonnie I really didn’t know where to start, so I got one of everything. Bonnie hates squeaky toys and with good reason; she can’t hear them. She never understood the point of squeezing this plastic object and then throwing it. However, she loves balls. Her current favorite toy is a HUGE bouncy ball I bought in the kids section of a store. She loves it! She pushes it around in the yard and chases after it.


 Bonnie comes to family outings, to my work and the beach. We take Bonnie and Duke everywhere we can. Our dogs are our kids and a part of our huge Kelly family. I always knew that one day I would have a family of my own with children I love and adore with all my heart. My heart belongs to a deaf dog and it always will.

~ Tamara, Bonnie, Duke and Brandon Kelly