Deaf Therapy-Service Dog Bosco Rocks!

Story by: Mitra Singh

Last summer Bosco a deaf dachshund was in Street Service Dog Training which was going very well except his handler, Tammy Reynolds is visually impaired (blind) and for the second time a public altercation, she was attacked in the middle afternoon and she was injured. Thank God Bosco was not with her at the time because one kick to him would have been fatal. We talked with our Service Dog trainer about this incidence and our concern with Bosco getting hurt because Tammy is vulnerable in public. We all decided for Bosco’s safety he needs to stay at home from now on. He goes for walks only when the caregiver is with them as an extra set of eyes for any possible danger.

In 2011 Tammy was walking Bosco and another one of our dachshund around the block not being able to see the loose rottie until it was to late. the loose dog got a hold of the female doxie and mauled her to death. This was very traumatic for Tammy, although she grieved deeply over the loss of the female dachshund she couldn’t help but ask herself “what if it had been Bosco?” Tammy felt in the long run  Bosco is just to valuable to lose because she cannot protect him outside the home.

Our trainer instead recommended that Bosco’s training for a service dog not be pursued any further, that a larger German shepherd would be more suitable even as a guide dog, which Bosco was too little for anyway.

As long as there is one sighted person to escort Tammy and Bosco can they go out to the park, visits to the hospital, or walks around the neighborhood.

Just yesterday morning Tammy had passed out in the downstairs bathroom, I am her sighted roommate but also disabled that I usually do not go down stairs, I would never have known that Tammy was in danger nor did I hear any calls for help from her. The paramedics read her blood sugar in the 800’s. Bosco ran upstairs to get me, I could tell by his alert bark there was an emergency and carefully followed him as I made my way down the stairs to find Tammy and call 911. Bosco’s bark is a very loud distinct bark unlike a regular dachshund bark. Bosco becomes very concerned not realizing the volume of his alert but that doesn’t slow him down one bit. He barks with all of his might!

Bosco barking alerts are not only for people but in the past he has alerted us to emergency situations with hist fellow dog pack-mates. For example,  Bosco’s swift action saved another one of our dogs from bloat and he would alert when another dog needed his pain medications. When one of his elderly pack mates was passing away, Bosco stood steadfast and loyal until his last breath.

Returning from an out of state family holiday, the car was packed with the entire family, luggage and 2 other dogs. My mom was driving the car when Bosco began to alert very strongly. We pulled the car off the highway. At first we thought it was Tammy’s blood sugar but she just checked it and everything way okay. We know whenever Bosco alerts us we listen! The car we were in at the time was going  65 mph when we decided to pull off onto the shoulder of the road just seconds before my mom had a seizure. If it hadn’t been for Bosco alerting us that day when my mom had her seizure, most likely our family would have all been seriously injured or killed that fateful day.

We credit his exceptional scenting ability because of his deafness, when one sense is lost the others become stronger to make up the difference. He has learned sign language for his commands, his favorite of course is “good boy” and “treat”


Thanks again,

Mitra Singh