We love getting such inspiring stories like Mila and Michael’s story. With a loving and committed human, a deaf dog can reach new heights every single day so we try our very best to share deaf dog success stories not only to inspire all of you, but to show you that you and your deaf dog are not alone and anything is possible with consistent positive reinforcement training.  I hope you enjoy Michael’s story as much as I did when he emailed it to us here at Deaf Dogs Rock.

Rock on Michael and Mila! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

Mila Rocks her AKC Canine Good Citizen and Novice Trick Dog Titles!  by Michael Gurnick

Hi Christina,

Thank you for your dedication and wonderful information, which gave me the courage to adopt my beautiful Mila.

Our story is a long one and I believe there is a reason for everything and everything in this life has a purpose. There are no coincidences.

Months after having to put down my loyal furry friend of 11 years it came time to begin the search for another companion dog. After months of searching I came across a beautiful white pit that I discovered was deaf. It sent me on a search of the internet for everything I could find on living with and training a deaf dog. I went as far as taking a course to become a dog trainer.  I decided I was up for the challenge, but unfortunately the dog was adopted out before we ever had the chance to meet. I was disappointed and felt maybe there was good reason for the disappointment. It might have proven too much of a task at age 65 to train and care for a deaf dog.

I continued my search on the Petfinder website until a 5 month old Pitbull located in a NJ rescue caught my interest. As I read her bio she too was listed as being deaf! Of all the dogs looking for homes, I chose 2 that were deaf. What are the odds? I immediately reached out and because she was a pup and gorgeous, I expected the response to be the usual, “She has been adopted but we have others looking for a home”. She was available and the moment I saw her I knew there was something special about her. She is as sweet as she is happy. In the year we have been together, she has brought more joy into our lives than I could ever repay her.

Mila has adapted well to hand signals and has completed Obedience 1 and 2. She obtained her AKC Canine Good Citizen Title and learned the qualifying tricks to obtain a  Novice Trick Dog Title without taking the trick dog classes. We are so proud of her accomplishments and I will continue to build her resume to show others the value in these so called “Special Needs Dogs”. I always say, she was born with 2 strikes against her, 1. Being a Pitbull breed, 2. Being deaf. The dogs only limitation is in the eyes of an untrained owner. We walk daily throughout the neighborhood and she has become quite the little ambassador greeting shop owners and people along our morning journey. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone commenting that she looks like “Petey” from the Little Rascals show. People stop their cars to greet her and I am amazed to see complete strangers kiss her on her mouth. I can go on and on about the many ways she has enriched our lives. You know all too well having experienced it many more times than I.


This past June I took her back to a fundraiser her rescue was holding. She went wild seeing her former caregivers. They were very happy and pleased at her progress. They asked that I speak at an upcoming event on adopting a deaf dog. I was a little taken aback because I have become so accustomed to raising Mila that I sometimes forget she is deaf,  and therefore am oblivious to any bias based adoption issues. I am the last person in the world to to get up in front of a crowd, but this is something I feel very passionate about and would be honored to speak about my experiences with Mila.

Enough already….I could write a book.

I’ve included a few pics of her

Thanks for listening,
Mike and Mila