I personally hate it when shelters have really nice deaf dogs as “rescue only” and I am so thrilled Hope and Matt didn’t let the “rescue only” sign on Helen’s kennel stop them from taking the opportunity to spend some much needed time with her at the shelter. I am also grateful to the shelter director who took the time to notice the rare bond that was forming between Matt, Hope and Helen (love at first sight) and decided to make an exception to their “rescue only” designation by bending the rules in this case.
Shelters if you have a deaf dog with no aggression issues the dog should be judged first as: 1. as a dog first, 2. as the breed of the dog second (breed characteristics) and 3. as a deaf dog third – in that order.
Thank you Hope for taking the time to share Helen Keller’s Happy Tail with our Deaf Dogs Rock readers and family. Rock on Helen, rock on!
Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
Helen Keller’s Happy Tail written by Hope Jones
Back in 2013 Matt my fiancee and I moved away with our hearing dog Marla, it was the first time in her life she was alone with no doggy friends to play with. We made the decision to adopt another dog to see if it would help her depression because we noticed she wasn’t eating and she was sad all the time.
Matt and I decided to head over to our local animal care control center to look for a new pup in need of rescue and a loving home. We walked down all the shelter aisles and saw some super cute dogs, but none that I thought would fit in with our little family of three. On the way out of adoption area we stumbled upon a beautiful solid white bully baby who was laying in the isolation area with her face pressed her kennel. I asked the shelter worker what was her story and she stated that “Huh” (the dog’s name) was a “rescue only” due to her having a kennel cough, the dog being deaf and she had recently been returned to the shelter after a failed adoption.
Huh the deaf dog had been returned on that Monday and adopted the previous Saturday. The people who brought her back stated that “they couldn’t house train her”. Okay first of all who can house train a grown dog in two days? Um, no one! I hate people sometimes.
Matt and I asked if we could just visit with her love on her anyway because she looked like she needed some cuddles. We loved on her alright! She was pure sugar and one of the sweetest dogs we have ever met! As soon as the shelter director saw us with her in the meeting room, she asked us directly if we were really serious about wanting her even though she had special needs with her being deaf and all. Both Matt and I jumped up and said “of course” at exactly the same time.
I also let the director know I had experience as a trainer and had worked with deaf dogs prior to meeting Helen. That was January 22, 2013. The shelter told us that if we wanted her they would make and exception to let us adopt her but they would need to have her spayed the next day so we all agreed. The following day, Matt and I where so excited we left home early in the morning and we waited in the shelter parking lot before they even had a chance to unlock the front door to the shelter. That special day in 2013 our precious little deaf girl Helen Keller got her freedom ride and loving forever home.
These days Helen is my shadow and she is 100% “velcro dog”. Since I work at a wonderful doggy daycare and boarding facility, I am so lucky because I get to take her to work with me every day. She is such a smart girl! Helen already knows close to 20 hand sign commands and she has great manners.
We will never regret going back to the shelter and giving our girl a new home. We not only rescued Helen but she rescued us right back.
Deaf dogs really do ROCK!