My elderly and senior dog is teaching me how to age gracefully. She has slowly lost her vision but she remains the cutest, loving dog ever. She accepts her blindness, using her other senses to navigate day-to-day life. Watching her, I'm appreciative of how intuitive dogs are, and how much the human-animal bond comes into play in the quality of life we have together.
My brother's dog Kona is a little older than Cleo, and she's become deaf with age. She too, is still so very cute and happy. She's got white butt hairs that make me laugh, because she wiggles her butt in front of you until you scratch it. She grunts and snores on "her couch" most of the day now. Kona, without trying, shows us that a happy dog, in a loving family, doesn't need to hear to be content or feel loved.
Kona the deaf black Lab napping on her couch
Did you know that many rescues and shelters assume deaf dogs are unadoptable. Really? Kona gets around just fine at home. She's 15 years old and somewhat arthritic. Her family keeps her routine simple and they use simple hand gestures to guide her behavior.
This week is National Deaf Dog Awareness Week. Whether they can hear or see, or even walk, we know from experience today that dogs just want to be loved by their family. They want to feel your love, your commitment and loyalty. Having a hearing-impaired dog only means an adjustment on how you work together, not how you love each other.