Zeus Traveled Many Miles to Find His Forever Home by Marion Hosmer
My name is Marion and I live in Maryland about eight miles from Baltimore. I am a volunteer and have reached out to many areas in Maryland
with the goal of addressing the overpopulation of at risk animals in homes and outside focusing on low cost or free spay neuter. I average helping 1000 animals yearly, with the greatest percentage of cats and dogs being from around the boarder area of Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County. Through this community outreach, I have removed animals that have been abandoned or the owners reach out to us because they no longer have the resources to care for their pets and this is how I met our deaf dog Zeus.
In June of 2019 I was contacted by two women that could no longer afford their rent for their townhouse and were moving into a room. They had a large 90 pound white and brown spotted dog with the most beautiful blue eyes. They could not take the deaf dog with them at that time and needed my help. They told me their deaf dog Zeus was a Catahoula Leopard/pit bull mix. Zeus the deaf dog was given to the two women a short time before they contacted me and he had originally been rescued from Florida. Poor sweet Zeus had a trail of stories with different people passing him around not being up for the challenge of raising/taking care of a deaf dog. One time he was even abandoned on the streets of Baltimore County where he was picked up by a police officer.
The women who contacted me and needed my help had moved out of her town home and in the process had left Zeus behind. Zeus was left all alone in the townhouse while the two ladies were living in a room somewhere else. The told me they were stopping by regularly to feed him and take him out. A neighbor had told us how Zeus had cried and barked most of the time because he was all alone and scared. The two women who contacted me to take Zeus and care for him assured me they would take him back in three months when their finances improved but that never came to be. They slowly disconnected contact with me as they were still struggling financially.
I was told Zeus is deaf. I had no idea of the challenges I would face trying to understand a deaf dog like Zeus and I was very unsure of his odd behavior. He would bark non stop starting at 6:00pm. He growled at shadows and movements on the ground and all the walls (Canine Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). He was unsure of my sons 45 pound dog and would lunge at her but strangely Zeus was very good with my little dog and four cats. Sometimes I had to sleep on the couch with my feet on top of him and wrap him in a blanket to keep him calm.
After a short time of living with Zeus, I began to realize he was so full of anxiety probably because he had been left alone in that townhouse for over a month. I know his anxiety was also making me very anxious. I did not want to give up on him as his behavior was hard to understand. My veterinarian was kind enough to put me in contact with one of his clients that lives with two deaf Catahoula’s. His client helped me understand some of the challenges a deaf dog faces. Having someone to talk to helped Zeus and I a lot.
Zeus kept an eye on us and did not like to be left alone and it was clear Zeus suffered from Separation Anxiety (SA). We made him a part of our home and soon Zeus began to feel secure with us. He no longer barked all night long. We realized he understood commands like “come here”, “stop”,and “go over there”. My daughter is a senior in High School and she taught Zeus to walk on a leash and to “jump up”. She took him to the retail stores that allowed dogs to come in and she walked him often to help socialize him and reassure him no dog would hurt him.
It’s funny because to us Zeus looks like a small cow. He is like a lovable child and many times I find my daughter asleep with her arms wrapped around Zeus. Last week she was searching the internet and came across on old posting of Zeus from Deaf Dogs Rock about a dog that was adopted in December 2017, The write up his foster posted describes his personality. He is the same dog and has traveled many miles to finally make it into our loving arms. We are so happy his journey led him to us. Marion Hosmer
Photos above: Photos of Zeus which appeared on Deaf Dogs Rock in February 2019