Even Mike Tysons heart would melt if he heard of the plight of poor Bruno, who was only four weeks old when he and his seven littermates were unceremoniously dumped outside the PDSA in Llansamlet in Swansea just before Christmas last year. Staff at the PDSA called the local RSPCA, and their animal collection officer collected the eight mongrels and took them to their Animal Centre in Penllergaer. It was there that Brunos fortunes took a turn for the better, when he was selected for training by national charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Janet Cogswell, a Regional Dog Assessor for the charity, is responsible for selecting dogs in the Wales area both from rescue and from private donors, and she spotted Brunos potential straight away. He was placed with one of the Charitys socialisers, Bill Burn in Aylesbury (pictured below with Bruno), where he will stay for a few months to learn basic obedience and manners, as well as be introduced to different experiences such as travelling on public transport, meeting other animals and children and visiting busy towns.
Bill has had Bruno now for a month, and is watching his character develop. Bruno does not have a bad bone in his body. He is very affectionate and friendly, and wants to say hello to everything he meets. Having Bruno around is rather like having a toddler in the house! He has tried to make friends with our cats, but they run away and will only have a close look at him when he is asleep!
After socialising, the next step for Bruno will be 16 weeks of soundwork training, where he will learn to respond to household sounds such as the telephone, doorbell, alarm clock, cooker timer and smoke alarm. All being well, he will then go to live with the deaf recipient with whom he has been matched, and provide that person with the security, confidence and independence that all hearing dogs bring to their owners. Not a bad result for a mongrel puppy that started his life abandoned in a cardboard box.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People desperately need more puppies and young dogs like Bruno to be donated for training. If you have, or know of, a dog under the age of three with a friendly temperament that you think would be suitable as a hearing dog, please call Janet Cogswell on 01844-353898.