Deaf Dog Rudi Rocks her CGC and Gives Back To Her Community by Angi Holt-Parks

This is my beautiful deaf girl, Rudi. She and I are inseparable as I first met her where I volunteer at a local shelter the Lucas County Canine Care & Control. She was there for approximately 3 months and kept getting overlooked because she had “special needs -DEAF” on her adoption profile. I just couldn’t understand why no one was adopting her because I treasured the time I spent with her at the shelter. It was a big decision because we already had four dogs at home and adopting her would be our fifth dog.  I just knew how special she is and I just had to have her. So, I adopted her.

Training her was actually pretty easy as I learned some techniques from a local trainer at our shelter and also online through YouTube videos and Learning and using American Sign Language (ASL), I was able to teach her commands and she picked up on her signs so fast. She is always looking at me for direction and signs.

Rudi and I have this special bond that is very unique and she looks to me to communicate with her. She wiggles with happiness when we are able to communicate with each other. Her nickname is the wiggler as she is literally the happiest dog I have ever met.

I decided to enroll her in Canine Good Citizen training classes also know as CGC classes. I was hoping that she would pass her CGC Test because I wanted to take her to libraries and schools to help kids read to her. Rudi ended up passing her CGC test with flying colors. Our trainer was so impressed with her attentiveness toward me and how quickly she learned.

Rudi and I love to give back to our community through volunteering for reading programs. We go to two different libraries and this year we are going to take her to an elementary school to interact with the children in the kindergarten classes. The kids just love her and seem to relax around her. The minute they meet Rudi they flock to her and she feels the same excitement when meeting each child for the first time.  As soon as we pull into the library parking lot, she will smile and wiggle her entire body with excitement. I can honestly say Rudi loves children.

We don’t have any children of our own, but feel that this is a great way to interact with them and read stories with them. Rudi and I also demonstrate and teach the kids some American Sign Language sign commands that they can practice on Rudi.  The excitement seen on the their faces when she responds to their ASL sign commands is absolutely priceless.

The kids know that Rudi can’t hear, but they still love reading to her. I can see their reading skills improving and Rudi has helped the shy kids read out loud without being so nervous. Rudi and I taking our time to give back to our community through the library and school reading programs has been an extremely rewarding experience for us.  We have been participating in the reading programs for abut 3 years now and I intend on doing this for as long as Rudi enjoys her time with the kids.

I love this sweet deaf girl with all of my heart and am so glad that I adopted her. I knew that there was something special about her. Thanks for taking the time to read our story!

Angi Holt-Parks
Toledo, Ohio

Photo credit to Tammy Davis, the Librarian at the Library where I take Rudi