Deaf Dog Benji – Who Rescued Who? By Bianca Cooke

I was diagnosed with PTSD after the death of my son last year. Unfortunately my PTSD had gotten to the point where I didn’t want to live any longer. I was so depressed I was unable to leave my home. I had heard about assistance dogs and the healing powers that they have on their handlers. I decided  it was time to make at least one last attempt to save myself so I decided to buy a border collie puppy and train him to become my assistance dog. I came across Benji on Gumtree. He was in a litter of 5 border collie pups and his picture grabbed my heart. He was a little fluff ball with one blue eye and a brown eye. Seriously he was the cutest puppy I had ever seen.

unnamed (6)-002

After contacting the breeder and making arrangements, I picked him up the next day. This was the first time since my sons death I felt I could leave the house and felt a wave of excitement. After living with my new little puppy for a few days, I realized something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it right away.

For some reason Benji didn’t seem to respond to my voice or any noises for that matter.  I waited until he was asleep so test his hearing. I could bang pots and pans right next to him while he was sleeping and he wouldn’t react or move. At first I tried to tell myself that he was just a rambunctious puppy with a limited attention span but deep down I knew something wasn’t right.

unnamed (7)-001

When I took Benji to our vet clinic, they confirmed my little Benji was completely deaf. When they first told me the news my new puppy was deaf, I was filled with so many mixed emotions. At first I had some doubts and fears because I had had no experience raising or training a deaf dog but when I looked into Benji’s soulful eyes, all my fears seemed to fade away.

I didn’t care if he was deaf because I loved him more than life itself and I wasn’t going to part with my precious deaf puppy for anything in the world. Benji is the reason I get out of bed everyday because he gives me a reason to live. If it wasn’t for him, I know I probably wouldn’t be here today.

I tell myself if this little deaf pup can trudge through life with a happy tail and a smile on his face, then I can too. Benji is currently learning sign language and is being trained to become my assistance dog. If sharing Benji’s story helps to educate people on how wonderful living with a deaf dog can be, then my job is complete. Deaf dogs can do just as much as hearing dogs and sometimes even more. Who rescued who? Most people I know rescue their pets but with Benji, he rescued me!

After being trapped in a dark emotional tunnel for so long, my Benji is now my savior as he guides me to the light in my life.