It sounds cliche, but isn't it the little things in life that we so often take for granted? The sound of a door bell alerting us to a new guest. The noise the timer makes when a batch of cookies is done. The sound of a dog running to greet you at the front door after hearing you open it. This cliche made me think of a dog I met recently. A dog, who is looking for a forever home.
Two-year-old Beau has called Stonecliffe Animal Rescue home since March. As is the case with any rescue, his life isn't about his past, it's about paving a new future. He's made the nearly three-hour trip from Lemoore to Dublin twice a month on a regular basis with the hope he'd find a forever home. Beau, a terrier mix (or possibly a miniature Vizla) has stood in a pen outside Dublin's for the four-hour adoption period every other Saturday, eager to receive attention from those passing by.
I started volunteering recently with this wonderful rescue and have spent time with this adorable dog.
It quickly became clear to me that Beau catches the eye of a lot of potential dog owners.
One Saturday I heard someone comment about how sweet he is; another person noted his gentle nature. When you pet him, he squints his eyes as though he's trying to verbalize just how much he loves the attention.
If you hand him a treat, he takes it gently. Put your hand down near him and he leans in to meet you. The owners of the shelter say Beau loves people, he loves to run and play in the grass and he loves water.
I took Beau out of the pen one Saturday recently to let him sniff around and he found a water dish. Before he took a sip, he put his paw in it. Almost as if he was "testing the water." A smart, sweet dog just looking for a place to call home.
But Beau isn't your typical dog. You see, Beau is deaf. That single statement seems to be a huge concern for those who meet him. In fact, it's the reason Beau was adopted once and returned not long after it became apparent he's deaf.
I've watched as people inquire about him, only to learn he can't hear and then walk away. Beau may not understand, but it's heartbreaking to see that this is why a small dog with a huge heart isn't finding a forever home.
After learning that Beau was deaf, I started doing a little research. It turns out there are lots of resources online for owners of deaf dogs, including the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund, a group devoted to educating the public about dogs who can't hear. There are tips for owners, including how to teach a deaf dog American Sign Language.
Don't trust research? Then just read the testimonials; lots of stories from people talking about how their wonderful companions have adjusted in their homes despite being deaf. The information and the research are available; it's just a matter of Beau finding someone willing to adopt a dog who needs an owner willing to do some work.
I realize that Beau won't be able to hear a garage door open or come running to the kitchen when he realizes you've opened a treat bag.
But think of things that Beau can do. He can certainly learn commands with hand gestures, including "sit," "stay" and "come." One owner of a deaf dog said when they want the dog to come in from the backyard at night, they simply flip the light switch a few times. Simple as that. Beau can certainly still sit on the coach and watch TV, lean in to show his affection, and look up at you when his head is being scratched to show his appreciation.
I have no doubt that he will be just as loving, just as loyal and just as wonderful of a companion as a dog who can hear. Beau just needs someone to accept his inablity to hear and stick around long after the words "he's deaf" are spoken.
Beau deserves to find a loving home in which he won't be known as "the dog who can't hear" but rather, "the dog we can't imagine our life without." Is that home yours?
If you're interested in learning more about Beau, click here. The rescue will be at Dublin this Saturday from 11a.m. to 3p.m. for a big adoption event and you can request to have Beau come to the event. You can also contact Stonecliffe Animal Rescue at firstname.lastname@example.org.