This story was written by Meghan Coates about her Duke her Amazing Deaf Bulldog.
I’ve had a dog my entire life. My oldest fur-child is Wally. Wally is a Chihuahua mix who has been with me for almost eleven years. In 2008, my husband decided that he wanted a dog as his wedding present, specifically a bulldog. We didn’t have much knowledge about the breed or on how to find a breeder/rescue and choose a pup. One day we just happened to be walking around our local Mall when we spotted a man with a beautiful bulldog. We asked him where his dog came from. He gave us the name of the breeder and the breeders website so we went on line to check out the website to see if there were any bulldog puppies available.
The breeder’s website looked respectable enough. There were lots of pictures and feed back from previous customers. We saw pictures of a cute litter with three white puppies and instantly fell in love. Unfortunately, the breeder was four hours away so we put down a deposit without ever visiting (this was our mistake #1). We were told that two of the pups would go to California and one would come to us.
We were under the impression when we arrived to pick up our new puppy, we would get the chance to choose the puppy we wanted. When the day finally rolled around to pick up our new puppy, we were so excited so we called the breeder to tell them we were on our way. The bulldog breeders then instructed us over the phone to meet them at a gas station instead of their home (his was our mistake #2). They showed up with one white bulldog puppy and three brindle bulldog puppies. They tried to get us to take one of the brindle puppies, but my husband was already smitten with the white puppy so we ended up with our little Duke.
Three days later and after our 48 hour trial period had expired (according to the purchase contract – this was our mistake #3), we found Duke was bloated and couldn’t hold any food or water down. We rushed him to the Emergency Vet where they told us Duke had not been properly de-wormed by the breeder. After Duke was feeling better, and had been with us for a few months, we finally figured out he was deaf.
After a few visits to a dog dermatologist, we also learned that Duke had allergies and he was allergic to corn and pollen. If that wasn’t enough, by the end of his second year, Duke required surgery to save his right eye.
(Duke and his family-photo courtesy of the Meghan Coates)
Despite all of these challenges, we gotten his allergies under control and we are now training him using hand signals. He can “come”, “sit”, “lay down” and he understands the signs for “no” and “good boy”. He is a total love bug! Every morning he sits on the couch and hands out cuddles and kisses. Duke has become such a blessing to us and to everyone he meets. We enjoy teaching our friends (who are unfamiliar with deaf animals) how to communicate with Duke so they can understand his mannerisms and behaviors.
Duke The Amazing Deaf Bulldog has overcome all odds and is becoming quite the handsome fellow. We can’t imagine what our lives would be like without him! I’m so happy to have found a resource like Deaf Dogs Rock, so that I can continue to work with him!
(Photo of Wally and Duke just chilling out – photo courtesy of Meghan Coates)
Thanks for sharing Duke’s Happy Tail!
Mr and Mrs. Coates – Chesterfield, VA
Note from Christina of Deaf Dogs Rock: I was so excited to get Meghan’s email. She is a Roanoke College Graduate and she saw the Deaf Dogs Rock story on the Roanoke College’s homepage and reached out and sent us a note on how much she enjoyed reading stories on DDR and she told us her story about Duke her Amazing Deaf Bulldog. Nitro and I think Duke, Wally and the entire Coates family totally Rocks for raising Duke The Amazing Deaf Bulldog!
Thanks for sharing Duke’s Happy Tail with us! ~ Christina and Nitro Lee