Hidden Hearing helped the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind with their Christmas Fund Raising efforts by selling Christmas Cards in the work place. By selling the cards throughout the branches and making sure all monies raised went directly to the charity the campaign was a huge success. We wish the guide dogs well in it’s fantastic job of training dogs to help vision impaired people.
……..On another note we read that in the USA they say every dog has its day. And hearing impaired dogs are no different.
Deaf dachsund Sparky, finally had his day after he was given a permanent home at Missouri School for the Deaf.
The one-year-old was trained in sign language over eight weeks by inmates at Missouri prison who then asked the Fulton school to take him in.
Now Sparky is happy in his new home with the students, sometimes sleeping in their dorms and is even learning more sign language.
The dachsund responds to hand signals to sit, stop, lay down and heel and is working on additional signs that mean ‘food’ or outside’.
Student Catherine Slinkard first kept Sparky in her dorm and through an interpreter said he was ‘very calm’.
Michael Miller was the next to have the dog and the senior said he fell in love with him learning quickly that yelling at him did no good. He had to either use sign language or pick the dog up to get his attention.
‘I knew, like me, he can’t hear anything. I feel that because I can communicate with him in signs that it’s special,’ he said through an interpreter.
Superintendent Barbara Garrison approved bringing Sparky to the school believing it would be a really great learning experience for the students.
‘He fits perfectly here,’ she told the Fulton Sun. ‘Because these kids hear all the time what they can’t do. We try to tell them what they can do.
‘He likes his new deaf family here.’
And a second deaf dog, a Boston Terrier named Petie, may be on his way to the school soon if they can find a permanent home for him after some sign language training.
Both dogs came from the Puppies for Parole program of the Missouri Department of Corrections in which inmates train animals with behavioural or other issues that make them difficult to adopt.
Activities coordinator at the prison Tina Holland said the program saves dogs that might otherwise be put down and it gives inmates a constructive activity.
‘It’s been wonderful. It’s gone far beyond what we thought it would be. Their goal is just to get these dogs a home,’ she said.