Deciding who was going to be crowned first was a tough decision. Tyna and I have a lot of amazing pets in our life, both past and present. And though we’re sure you’ll meet all of them eventually (we are childless remember), I had to make an executive decision and declare it Mabel, my deaf Boston Terrier.
Training was a bit harder than with our other dogs (though not by much!) and treating her with a separate set of hand-only commands is sometimes a trick (getting her in when she’s taking off across our 5 cactus filled acres is a tough one). But challenge would never be a word we’d use to describe anything about Mabel. She picked up Sign Language quickly, a combo of actual American Sign Language and ones made up by us (like “pee pee” for example, as in “No-you pee pee outside!”). And anyone who’s met her can attest, she is as sweet as pie and twice as entertaining. Some of my favorite characteristics of her’s are:
• The girl could chase shadows all day! Birds and butterflies can keep her occupied for hours, and not the actual creatures either-just their shadows.
• She loves to give kisses but doesn’t like to be kissed. Love is always on her terms (though we sneak it in all the time).
• She loves beer. This is our fault. One tiny saucer and she was hooked. She will literally climb up your body to lick beer from your lips.
But most importantly, she has no idea she’s deaf. From the moment she wakes, she’s happy. Frolicking with our other 3 dogs (and a particular kinship with our huge Pit Bull), naps in the sunshine and running like a banshee when she sees the treat sign fill her day. We feel so blessed to have her and are so pleased we decided to bring a “special needs” dog into our lives. She’s enriched it in more than we can even measure.
(If you’d like to give a deaf dog in need a home, please visit the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund adoption page .)