Submitted by Lisa Vanderhoof

Oreo was adopted by my husband and I in April of 2016.  His previous owners did not know how to work with a deaf puppy and were neglecting him and leaving him in a crate all the time. A friend of ours sent us his picture saying Happy Tails Rescue was looking for a family to adopt him.  We were looking for a second dog and decided to meet him. We had never had a deaf dog before but were up for the challenge.  We met with Oreo’s owners and fell in love.  His “sister” Chloe and he hit it off immediately and have been inseparable ever since.  She has helped him calm down, (he can be a bit of a bull in a china shop) and he has brought out her playful side.


We knew right away there was something special about Oreo.  He picked up sign language easily and is just always happy.  He loves everyone including children, other dogs and life.  Don’t get me wrong, he LOVES remote controls, (we have stock in Verizon remotes for our TV’s), we have some scrimshaw on our chairs and tables from chewing and he is always willing to help out with the recycling of bottles and boxes, but he is a great dog and full of personality.



Oreo goes to doggie day care once a week with his sister which he loves because he gets to run around and play with all his friends.  He also loves to cuddle and be a couch potato.  At night, he can’t wait for the blanket to come out and curls up between my husband’s feet on the recliner.  He likes to think he is human and will sleep in between us with his head on the pillow, snoring away.  Every morning he wakes up and barks to make sure we know he is up. Once of his favorite things is the blow dryer.  Every morning when I blow dry my hair, he runs in, puts his paws on the counter, throws his head back and waits for me to blow dry his chest. He travels with us everywhere and is always excited to go in the car.  He loves to play ball, tug and de-squeak toys.  He is also very happy to just relax outside in the sun and work on his tan.

Because Oreo loves life and everyone, we decided to try out therapy work with him.  We took a six week class to see how he would do.  At the beginning, we were all a little unsure, just because he was deaf.  The trainer had never worked with a deaf dog either. We didn’t know how he would react to different situations, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.  Well, he showed us that being deaf works to his advantage. NOTHING bothers him.  He passed his therapy test with flying colors and even earned his Canine Good Citizen title.  Ever since, he has been going to schools, nursing homes, libraries and colleges. He is always smiling and his tail never stops wagging. He brings so much joy to everyone he meets.  He even helps test other dogs for their therapy tests now.


Above: Oreo enjoying his Therapy dog work.

Oreo has his own Facebook page with his sister where you can follow all their antics. Check them out on our Facebook for The Ballerina and The Bull.