Thanks to Elizabeth who just sent us in Harrison’s Happy Tail. Tomorrow is Harrison’s Birthday so what better way to celebrate then to tell the world how much Deaf Dogs Rock! Happy Birthday Harrison.
We hope you have a “dog gone” good time on our Birthday DAWG!
Love ya…mean it!
Nitro, Bud, Tallulah, Bailey, Lexi, Christina and Chris – Deaf Dogs Rock
Harrison’s Happy Tail by Elizabeth Lytle
I adopted Harrison (aka Harry) nine years ago today. I live alone and thought it might be nice to have a dog around for company and maybe a little protection. I would see a dog on Petfinder or the animal shelter and send his or her picture to my mom and she would say yeah he’s cute, oh that one is funny looking, etc. I sent her Harrison’s picture and she e-mailed me right back and said when are you picking me up to go get him. I took my lunch and we were off to the city shelter. When we got to the shelter he had a big sign on his cage that said “VIP”. That meant very important pet, which meant, I don’t have long to live. He had been at the shelter for three months and was brought in as a stray. They figured his age to be around 1 to 1 ½.
The shelter staff brought him into a room so we could meet him. His name at the shelter was Jake. I kept calling him and he wouldn’t turn around. He was too busy watching the cats across the way. I touched him on his back and it startled him. I didn’t think anything of it. The shelter personnel came back in and I needed to make sure he was safe with cats since I had indoor cats. They thought he was. I said he sure doesn’t know his name and she was like, well he can’t hear you. She then explained he was deaf. He has the blue glass eyes, but I’m fortunate in that he has perfect vision. I guess I never realized that dogs were born deaf. We had an older dog who had lost her hearing, but never one from birth. I told her let me think about it and we left. Well as soon as I got back to work I looked at his pictures again and called her and said can you put on his cage that he’s adopted and I will come by tomorrow and get him. I need to go get doggy things tonight.
I came first the thing the next morning and paid my adoption fee and took him home. It’s been love ever since. It was funny, when I first got him, he would sleep with me. He started leaving in the middle of the night and then would be right beside me in the morning. At night, he would go back to the bedroom and sleep. Every thirty minutes though he would wake up and come out to see me in the living room. It was like he was making sure I was there. He then started to just coming down the hallway and I would wave at him and he would go back to the bedroom. Six months or so later he stopped checking on me all together. I guess he figured I wasn’t going to leave him.
Harrison is just the best guy in the world. When I first got him we would call him and then be like, oh wait he can’t hear us. We would laugh and think I wonder what he is thinking. We still talk to him all the time and I even answer for him in my “Harry” voice. Harrison lives at home with two kitties. I tried getting another deaf Catahoula as a friend for him, but unfortunately he wants to be an only child. I have learned to accept this and haven’t tried to bring home anybody else for him.
Harrison has doggy friends at his grandma and grandpa’s house which are an English Pointer, a Great Pyrenees/Retriever mix and a Labrador/Pyrenees mix. He’s still unsure of the Lab/Pyrennees mix because she is a puppy and she wants to play, but he wants nothing to do with her antics. He gets to see them every week and every weekend. If I’m not at their house, he sometimes will find a book and just sniffs and sniffs it because he can smell me on it. I’ve started taking a blanket over for him so he can have my scent on it if he wants.
Harrison loves going on rides in the car and he comes out with me every weekend. He likes going for walks. When he was younger he would play outside, but now that he’s gotten older, he is just fine with sleeping on the bed. Harrison is pretty laid back. He has never really played with toys, but loves to curl up next to you on the couch and snuggle. I tried training him, but I say that he failed doggy school. I maybe didn’t try hard enough, but he is just perfect the way he is. He doesn’t need any manners for me to love him. Harrison is the first dog I’ve had on my own and I just don’t know what I’d do without him. He makes me laugh and smile all the time.
The first thing I do in the morning is give him a big hug and kiss. He is most definitely a mama’s boy, but that is just fine with me. Harrison loves sleeping on my bed where he can look out the window and watch for my car to come down the alley. Most of the times when I come home at lunch or after work, he is at the garage door waiting for me. Sometimes he is zonked out on his pillows though and those are some of the most precious times. He looks so peaceful sleeping and I love it when I can come into the room and just watch him sleep. He doesn’t have any idea I’m there until I gently wake him up and then he’s like yea, mommy’s home, where’s my cookies!!! He has several different cookies that are his favorite and I think I keep Petco in business and continually buy out their supply of duplex crèmes. He also loves his Three Dog Bakery cookies and his homemade treats. His nickname is “Cookie Monster”.
I just had a rough month with him due to illness. He had a very bad case of dermatitis (which he has never had) and then the doctor found a growth in one of his anal glands. He just had that removed two weeks ago and we go see a doggy oncologist in two weeks. It looks like the doctor caught the growth soon enough, so hopefully everything will be okay. It is a fast moving cancer so I’m hoping for the best. Otherwise in his life he has been very healthy. He had a really bad eye infection several years ago and he didn’t like it when the mom’s Lab/Pyrenees mix came over to my house. I came home the next day and found a mess. I took him right to the doctor where he stayed for three days. The doctor said it was stress related due to Sabra coming over to the house. He doesn’t have any more doggy friends come and visit.
I would definitely recommend a deaf dog to anyone. I have seen so many beautiful Great Danes and Australian Shepherds who are deaf. If I ever get another dog, I’m really leaning towards one of these breeds. I wish more people knew about deaf dogs and the wonderful things that they can bring to a family. Just because they can’t hear, does not mean they don’t give the same joy and love to their human companion as a hearing dog. They want what any dog wants and that is just love. I make sure Harrison gets that everyday and give him lots of extra loving just because he’s special.