Jeff’s Happy Tail is written by Summer Frazier. Thanks Summer for sharing Jeff with all of our readers and for also going to the next level in raising and training Jeff. If more deaf dog owners would spend the first year working hard and have their deaf dogs in training Deaf Dogs Rock would not be so swamped with adoption listings when dogs turn 10 to 12 months of age. A big thank you to Summer for her financial support and kind consideration in supporting our mission here at Deaf Dogs Rock to save one deaf dog at a time!
According to my deaf dogs Nitro, Bud and myself, you and Jeff totally ROCK! ~ Christina, Nitro and Bud
Jeff’s Happy Tail by Summer Frazier
In February of 2014, I had to put my first deaf dog to sleep due to his chronic kidney problems and ultimate failure. While he had a bunch of reactive dog problems, we loved him all the same and wanted to adopt another deaf dog, eventually. My boyfriend and I had been haunting the adoption websites, and saw a lot of great dogs, but we were not sure that we were ready. We decided that we’d get a dog under a year so as to be super malleable, and our elder dog, Lois really loves all things baby, canine, feline, or human. I came across Deaf Dogs Rock and was checking out their adoptable dogs. In April, a puppy here in WA state was posted on the Facebook feed, but he was never featured as a Rock Star of the Day, probably because I sent in the application relatively soon after I saw his pictures.
Photo by: Christine Balcom (Jeff’s foster mommy).
His name was Chi (aka Trouble, aka Dagger), from CA (Tulare County, which funny enough, is where I grew up), he was 5 months old, and he had the BEST ears (which eventually flopped down as he got bigger), and he had the deepest brown eyes. I kinda felt like this was the one. Thanks to Collar of Hope, here in WA, and Christine Balcom (his foster mama, who is herself deaf), we adore this dude, whom we have renamed Deaf Jeff. He was an immediate fit in the family of two cats and an older rescue pit bull, Lois.
Photo by Christine Balcom (Jeff’s foster mommy).
We enrolled Jeff right away in Puppy Kindergarten, which he did really well. We have continued in obedience, he does really well, except he does mess about in class on occasion, especially when we are right next to some of his friends. What a delinquent! Thanks to Nancy Hansen and the team at The Puppy Perfectors! We have started agility, and I cannot stress enough how much this has improved both focus on me and been the greatest supplement to obedience because we really learn how to communicate. That and it’s super fun. Our biggest issue is getting Jeff to slow down enough to look at me. He is now a 70 pound cannonball. We are also starting K9 Nosework. We’ll see how he takes to it. WA also has great hiking and outdoor stuff to do, and Jeff loves to go hiking in the forest. One of our goals for 2015 is to take Jeff backpacking.
Jeff has been a wonderful addition to the household. His presence has helped Lois, who has anxiety issues up the wazoo. She has really become a much calmer and better dog now that she has to be a good role model. They love to nap and play together, though she tires out quicker and he’s a font of youthful energy. The cats even like him. Jeff is totally a “velcro” dog and he has to sit ON me on the couch and constantly worries that I’m going to fall into the toilet or shower and drown. He’s friendly and sweet (kids kinda freak him out though, but we’re working on that), and turning into a great bully breed and deaf dog ambassador.
We hope that we will be ready to take the CGC1 test this year, but we still have stuff to work on, silly guy hates to be brushed or toweled off (so bath time is sort of sloppy). We also look forward to testing out our first agility trial later on this year as well. I really can’t imagine why I was hesitant, this guy is great and I’m so glad that even though it might have seemed premature, the timing was actually just right to find one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever had. Thanks Deaf Dogs Rock, if it weren’t for you, I would not have found Deaf Jeff.