By Jessica Bailey
I work at a grooming salon as a bather and have ALWAYS a wanted a dog. I am now 19 years old, and I have had cats all of my life. I decided that since I was working at a grooming salon and never had a dog, I was going to convince my parents to let me get one. My mother is allergic to dogs so I had to keep that in mind. I have a special place in my heart for dogs that most people aren’t particularly “fans” of. For example, an under-bite, silly eyes, no hair, three legs, blind, deaf, doesn’t matter to me. I think it makes the dog even better. With that also in mind, I took to Petfinder.com. I looked at some dogs but none were standing out to me. I then decided to search under Chinese Crested breed. I have always thought they were such awesome dogs, so I thought “why not?”. That’s where I found Keller.
Keller was a deaf Powder puff Chinese Crested that was supposed to be at a rescue in Rhode Island. I live in Massachusetts so that’s not far at all. I knew as soon as I saw him that I HAD to have him. I didn’t care that it said “DEAF!” next to his name. His pictures, description and video were enough to do it for me. His foster mother had also had him for 16 months, which I thought was way too long. So I decided to reach out to the rescue to see if I could meet Keller. I filled out an adoption application regardless of whether or not I could meet him, I also got in contact with his foster mother. She broke the news to me that he was not in Rhode Island. He was in Alabama with her…because no foster homes in Rhode Island or anywhere close wanted to foster a deaf dog. I’m sorry, but are you kidding me!? I talked to her for days and she would tell me ALL about him and I just knew that he was the one for me. Despite the major hesitation from other people, I went forward with the adoption. His foster mom drove him from Alabama to Rhode Island, along with many other dogs that she was taking to an adoption event. Timing was perfect for that aspect, however I was getting all four of my impacted wisdom teeth out the day before she was going to be in Rhode Island. I did not care, I was going to get him regardless of how much pain I was in or how I felt. My fantastic boss drove me to Rhode Island to pick him up on Halloween.
Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Done.
His foster mother told me his background when I picked him up. He was originally adopted from a breeder as a puppy. When he was about six months old, the adopters figured out he was deaf. They then returned him to the breeder because they didn’t want a deaf dog. The breeder then dumped him at a shelter in Alabama because she had no use for a deaf dog. That’s where his wonderful foster mother stepped in and pulled him from the shelter and then fostered him in her home for sixteen months.
Photo below: Keller and Jessica’s very first Christmas together!
Keller is now my best friend. He comes everywhere with me. He comes to work with me every day. He is just AMAZING! Words truly cannot describe the love that I have for Keller. I have met MANY dogs. But I just can’t compare any to him. He has had his challenges since moving to New England with me. He has had his fair share of anal gland issues, allergies, and a lot of adjusting to the cold (don’t worry he has a VERY large wardrobe! Lol). And people say things like “oh your parents must help you out a lot with him.” But no, they don’t. When I decided to adopt a dog, I was ready for the financial and social aspects of it. If it’s MY dog, it’s MY responsibility. Money could not buy the relationship I have with Keller.
Since adopting him, his looks have changed a lot. You will see that in the pictures I will attach.
Keller in Camo booties and skull/crossbones (above) – Keller’s first snow storm (below)
My mom follows Deaf Dogs Rock on Facebook. She always talks about your page. I haven’t had Facebook for a very long time. But I recently decided to make one. My mom sent me your page to follow and I did. Every time I see a post from your page about a dog in need of a home, I just wish I could take it home with me. At the same time, it’s awesome seeing stories of other owners of deaf dogs. I just don’t think that anybody really understands owning a deaf dog unless they actually do. I know that my parents feelings towards deaf dogs has changed tremendously as well as everyone else that I know.
Keller in a Mohawk!
Thank you for all that you do. You guys rock!