When I read deaf dog Zoey’s Therapy Dog story from her human mom KJ Shea, there was one thing that really caught my attention and that was her advice about not being afraid of something that is different. She also said “”Sometimes the things you’re most afraid of turn out to be your biggest blessing.” No words could ever be truer when it comes to my deaf dog Nitro and her deaf therapy dog Zoey here. KJ thanks for writing up this wonderful story about your deaf Therapy Dog Zoey. According to my boys Nitro and Bud she is a real “looker”!

~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

Therapy Dog Zoey totally ROCKS! 

We adopted Zoey from an English Bulldog rescue group on December 24, 2010, unaware that we were adopting a deaf dog. After a mild panic about how we would handle a deaf dog, Zoey showed us that she didn’t expect any special treatment and taught us what she needed to communicate…. A few hands signs, a good stomp on the floor to get her attention, and our other bulldog, Bones. We don’t know whether she was born deaf or hearing, but is so well adapted to her deafness that with the slightest lift of Bones’s ears, she’s off the couch and at the back door to make sure she doesn’t miss any excitement.

Zoey birthdayZoey on her 2nd Birthday

Women's Center Annual Report

 Zoey in the Waukesha Women’s Center annual report book.

Since Bones is a certified therapy dog, we decided to have Zoey tested, too. We were assured that her deafness wouldn’t be an impediment to certification and she passed the tests with flying colors. Now she volunteers at the hospital, but her favorite job is going weekly to our local women’s domestic violence shelter.

Zoey vest

 Zoey rockin her volunteer vest 

Zoey Wheelchair

Zoey riding in her chariot at the hospital

Giving props where props are due, our Bones volunteers at our local library, where kids read to him in the “Reading to Rover” program. We have a little reader who is losing his hearing due to a congenital condition. On days when he’s scheduled to read, Zoey tags along so that he can sign books to her. He gets a kick out of signing books to her and trying to teach me how to sign in the process.

If I could say something to people who are afraid of adopting a deaf dog, I would say this: “Sometimes the things you’re most afraid of turn out to be your biggest blessing.” I can’t imagine how what we would do without our Zoey Bug. She teaches me lessens every day… Love with all your heart, don’t sweat the small stuff, overcome what’s thrown at you, and run with the big dogs!


Zoey and her best bud, Bones.

Hope this encourages people to appreciate just how special deaf dogs are…. I don’t know what we’d do without ours!


Kathy Shea