A HEARING-impaired volunteer is appealing for a home for a deaf dog after teaching the pup sign language.
Phoebe Curtis from Stratford became a volunteer at Dogs Trust in Evesham earlier this year.
And when the 18 year-old discovered there was a deaf dog in the centre, she knew she had to meet her.
Staff told Phoebe they are worried that Crossbreed Lollie is being overlooked because of her deafness.
So Phoebe decided to start teaching the clever dog sign language.
She said: “I absolutely adore Lollie. When I found out there was a deaf dog at the centre, I just knew that I had to meet her.
“Lollie already knew some hand signals so I started to spend time with her and almost instantly felt that we had a connection. We enjoy playing together in the paddocks and having cuddle in her kennel. She is the most loving dog ever and adores human company. The methods used to communicate with dogs, are the same for humans so it is perfectly possible to bond with a deaf dog and train them to respond to lots of different commands.
“She reminds me a bit of me in the fact that she hasn’t let a hearing impairment hold her back. She gives the best cuddles and will make a wonderful pet for someone. I hope she find a new family soon with someone who can give her the home she deserves.”
And the pup has become a firm favourite at the centre, with staff saying they hope to find her a home by dispelling the misconception that deaf dogs are hard to train.
Rehoming centre manager Chris Slight said: “When Lollie came to us, we were so worried that she’d be overlooked because of her deafness as sometimes people feel they wouldn’t be able to cope with a dog like Lollie. But deaf dogs can have a perfectly normal life and can be trained fairly easily using hand signals and positive, reward-based techniques.
“Despite never being able to hear someone call her a good girl, her lack of hearing hasn’t held her back and Phoebe has proved that dogs like Lollie are able to develop special bonds with people if they communicate with them in a language they understand.”
Call 0300 303 0292 to find out more about Lollie, or drop into the centre on Pitchers Hill in Wickhamford.