A Hearing Dog for Mama!

I have news:

I AM GETTING A HEARING DOG!!!!

You guys remember this post?! Written two years ago, yeah, that post – !!!! I’ve been waiting for this for OVER TWO YEARS.

I am terribly, whoah, BIG TIME excited!!

Anticipating some of your questions, I’ve gone ahead with some answers:

What is a hearing dog?

A hearing dog is like a guide dog for the blind. A guide dog for the blind guides the blind person through the sighted world; a hearing dog guides the deaf through the hearing world.

A hearing dog is trained to alert the deaf person to sounds. Sounds that are important for a given deaf person to know of, in my case, it’s for the sound of a child crying, the sound of a vehicle approaching, the sound of someone knocking on the door. Sounds that a mama wants to hear, needs to hear for the protection of her children.

What’s a hearing dog training like?

The dog is trained from the time they are born. They are trained until they are a year or two old in a facility that is exclusively dedicated to training guide dogs.

Once the dog is ready, they select the owners by process of application. That process is LONG.

Once there is a dog that is ready to be paired and an owner that seems to be a match, then the two come together in an intense 2 week training. This training is all about learning to communicate with one another with the guidance of the trainers.

Can you choose your dog or the breed?

You might be able to choose your breed and your dog if you work with some of the more flexible organizations out there, but the organization that I work with is bona-fide, top of the line, exclusively for the deaf and the dogs are free for the people who are selected.

They only train labradors and golden retrievers and mixes of the two, and you are paired with your dog based on your needs and the dogs personality (which have been observed since birth).

I told them that I need an energetic dog that will enjoy children; we are an active family. I need a dog that can run for miles and that likes swimming, etc. Dogs that don’t care for so much activity or don’t seem to like children will be weeded out from the pool of dog-candidates.

And yes, that’s another reason why the wait for a dog is long – you literally have to wait for your dog to be born sometimes.

When will it be?

In June! NEXT MONTH, y’all!!!

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I don’t even know how to wrap this post up because I’m just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo freakin’ happy and excited and THRILLED and grateful and hey – tomorrow is my birthday! How awesome!

 

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a deaf artist, tech-junkie, Counselor (and sometime teacher), mom (one with Down syndrome), cat-lover, Trekkie, yurt-dwelling off-the-grid farmer's wife. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done.

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