Note from Deaf Dogs Rock: I will never forget seeing the photo of Nico when it first went viral. He was leaning against a shelter wall beaten and battered with all hope lost. My heart broke seeing the vision of this broken K-9 soul. You see, Nico was this deaf Pit Bull who was labeled by the shelter as being mean and aggressive. Nico had been through very tough times but the person who pulled Nico from the shelter saw something very sweet in him. Nico is one of the lucky dogs who made it out alive. Our Deaf Dogs Rock  Heroes of the Day are Nico’s owners Melissa Garris and Bridget Swan for being open minded and willing to give Nico another chance at life. They are both also amazing ambassadors of the Pit Bull breed, of shelter dogs everywhere and also of special needs dogs. According to my deaf dog Nitro,  Melissa, Bridget and Nico totally ROCK!


Exclusive – Nico the Facebook Dog begins second year of happy life – Story By: Kyra Kirkwood – (from Oct 14, 2010 archives) – Orange County Dog Examiner

Nico, the deaf and abused shelter dog that nearly lost his life in the Los Angeles shelter system more than a year ago, is one of those miracle stories. Thanks to a profoundly moving picture taken by Nikki Audet of the Mutt Scouts and then posted on Facebook, this Dogo Argentino was not only saved from euthanasia and a loveless life, but he became the poster boy for adoption. And he got a loving, adoring forever family—and a cool new last name—to boot.

This fall will be one year since Nico SwanGarris, now 9 years old as of Sept. 1 and living in Indiana with moms Bridget Swan and Melissa Garris, embarked on his new journey in life. And what a year it’s been! He learned to play in the snow, respond to various forms of training tailored for deaf dogs and enjoy his new sister Brisby. Unfortunately, Nico’s previous cancer returned and he’s battling some health issues, but he’s receiving the best of medical and nutritional care.

Continue reading on EXCLUSIVE! Nico the Facebook Dog begins his second year of a happy life – Los Angeles Dogs |


Nico and his family relaxing at home – Credits: Courtesy of Bridget Swan