Rescue dogs often develop an amazing bond with the volunteers that look after them, and it is the case with Dogs Trust volunteer Phoebe Curtis, 18, and deaf rescue dog Lollie. The two clicked from the start, and Phoebe has been using sign language to train and communicate with Lollie – who has been in the Dogs Trust Evesham centre since July and, the staff fears, is being overlooked by potential adopters due to her deafness.
Chris Slight, Dogs Trust Evesham Rehoming Centre Manager, said, “When Lollie came into us, we were so worried that she’d be overlooked because of her deafness as sometimes people feel they wouldn’t be able to cope with a dog like Lollie. But deaf dogs can have a perfectly normal life and can be trained fairly easily using hand signals and positive, reward-based techniques.
“Despite never being able to hear someone call her a good girl, her lack of hearing hasn’t held her back and Phoebe has proved that dogs like Lollie are able to develop special bonds with people if they communicate with them in a language they understand.”
Phoebe, who is hoping to see her best friend off to a forever home soon, says, “I absolutely adore Lollie! When I found out there was a deaf dog at the centre, I just knew that I had to meet her. Lollie already knew some hand signals so I started to spend time with her and almost instantly felt that we had a connection. We enjoy playing together in the paddocks and having cuddle in her kennel. She is the most loving dog ever and adores human company. The methods used to communicate with dogs, are the same for humans so it is perfectly possible to bond with a deaf dog and train them to respond to lots of different commands.
“She reminds me a bit of me in the fact that she hasn’t let a hearing impairment hold her back. She gives the best cuddles and will make a wonderful pet for someone. I hope she finds a new family soon with someone who can give her the home she deserves.”
The team at Dogs Trust say Lollie would be “best suited to a home without children or other animals as understandably she doesn’t like to be approached unexpectedly, but she loves to have cuddles with canine carers at the centre”. Ideally her new family would live in a quiet, rural location with a large garden and experience of, or have researched training, a deaf dog. Lollie’s new owners will be able to count on all the support and guidance the Dogs Trust behaviour team can provide as she settles in.
If you can give Lollie the home she needs, you can contact Dogs Trust Evesham on 0300 303 0292, or drop into the centre on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, Evesham, WR11 7RT.
Image and video courtesy of Dogs Trust.