From Christina of Deaf Dogs Rock. Thank you so much to Tania for sending in Poppy’s story so we could share their story with all of you.
From Tania: This is Poppy, our wonderful deaf Boxer girl. A few years back I heard from one of our boxer breeders who contacted me to say she had a deaf Boxer pup and if there was someone who I thought would be suitable to adopt the deaf puppy. She needed my help to find the deaf boxer puppy a loving forever home. I didn’t think I was suitable to have a deaf dog, because 1. I had no idea how to train one, 2. We live on a farm and thought it was too much of a risk, 3. We are on a main highway, and the thought of not being able to recall her away from the highway was a very scary thought.
Anyway after some thought, I asked around within my circle of boxer families to see if any of them were interested in adopting a deaf Boxer puppy. We talked to a few of the boxer families and we thought we had a great home for the deaf puppy (after all they had Boxers as well and would have been such a great place for her to live). We live about 2 hours from where this little deaf puppy was located but since we happened to be in the area where the breeder was located, we decided to help the deaf puppy’s new family with transportation so we picked her up on our way home for the two hour drive. The sweet little deaf girl stayed in our home the first night before I drove her further to where her new family was going to meet us and pick her up.
After the first night with the puppy being in her new home with her new family, I got a phone call from them saying the more they talked it over they decided that maybe they weren’t in a position to take on a deaf puppy and they felt the timing wasn’t right so I went back and picked her up. I contacted the breeder to let her know the adoption had not worked out and she said she was happy to take the puppy back and keep she would keep looking for the right home.
I felt so sorry for this wee deaf puppy Buba. I started thinking back to the last few days and how this tiny little deaf puppy had been taken away from everything she was familiar with, she went on big travels, and she stayed in different places each night. I decided instead of taking her right back to her breeder I would see how she would do in my home with our five dogs. I really wasn’t looking to adopt another puppy especially a special needs puppy but I think she was a blessing in disguise.
Needless to say this sweet little deaf pup stayed with our pack and I have never looked back. We named her Poppy and everything I was so worried about like training a deaf dog, socializing a deaf dog, and teaching her new things has never been an issue. If anything she has been a joy to train, a joy to learn to communicate with, and when her little light bulb turns on, she gets so excited when she learns a new sign cue. She follows the body language of our other dogs and she gets along with all of them. She was easily welcomed by our pack and now there are six dogs in our family! Poppy is so very smart and she has taught me so much about positive reinforcement deaf dog training.
We have done several appearances together with doing demonstrations at the local Pet Expo. Poppy and I have enjoyed training and she has earned her Champion Trick Dog Title and we are training in Rally-o, obedience and agility as well as still learning new tricks.
If you have adopted a deaf puppy, embrace your journey! Sign up for group Positive Reinforcement Classes. Have fun, think about Tricks Class, Agility for Fun, Rally, or Nosework classes and have fun with your deaf dog. You will see the joy in your deaf dog’s eyes and your deaf dog will become such a part of you if you take the time and go the extra mile for your deafie.
Happy training Rockers!
Tania and Poppy