Growing up deaf is not an easy feat. I can’t hear anything; so sometimes what is normal for a hearing person is dangerous for me. For example, crossing the street at busy intersections, being alone at home and not hearing the doorbell or when someone is in my house, and more. When I was in college, I had a professor suggest getting a hearing dog.
Finding the Perfect Best Friend
After finding a company that specialized in breeding and training hearing dogs, I made an appointment to select my new companion. I wanted a young one that would be around for years to come, but not so young that they would be untrained. I learned upon arrival at the facility that they didn’t let the dogs leave the building until they were adequately trained. They introduced me to several young dogs to see how we interacted together. By the fourth one, I felt like it was pointless. None of them seemed to like me. Then I met Mouse, a terrier cross mix who immediately began licking my hands and jumping on me. The trainer laughed and said that she chose me. I was excited!
Training with Mouse
Over the next several weeks, I had to train with Mouse so that we got used to each other. I had to learn her commands that she was trained with while she got used to my walking and regular movements. I was just as enamored with her as she was with me. She was full of energy, knowledgeable and fiercely protective. I couldn’t wait to take her home with me.
Bringing Mouse Home
Mouse came home with me a month later, and watching her run around my dorm room was hysterical. My roommates got a kick out of her, and she became not only my hearing dog but also the dorm pet. Mouse was fantastic, any time someone said my name she would lick my hand and get my attention. When she came to classes with me, she sat obediently by me, and my professors loved her. When we walked around campus, she kept me safe, and I felt more confident crossing streets and busy intersections.
Four-Legged Best Friend
Mouse was a blessing for me, and we did everything together. Everyone who met her loved her. She was very protective of me and saved my life countless times. She slept in my bed with me every night and her energy never waned. We went to the beach every weekend, and we would run and play. I thanked my professor for suggesting that I get a hearing dog because I got more than that. I got an incredible first pet, a best friend and a protector all in one.
Mouse was with me for over ten years, and they were the best ten years of my life. She was my partner in crime and helped me function normally in a hearing world. I miss her dearly, but I will see her again someday.