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Deafness ‘needn’t be a deterrent’

Dogs Trust are urging people not to overlook dogs who are deaf when thinking of rehoming a rescue dog.

Staff at the charity’s Salisbury Rehoming Centre are appealing for potential owners for the deaf dogs that sometimes arrive at the centre, and say that the benefits of rehoming a dog that is deaf far outweigh any inconvenience caused.

Catherine and Arthur Cooper have recently found this when they adopted Jasmine, a deaf Terrier Cross Collie from Dogs Trust Salisbury Rehoming Centre.

While watching the ‘Paul O’Grady Show’, Catherine and Arthur fell in love with beautiful four month old Jasmine, who was looking for a new home. The retired couple thought long and hard as they already had three other dogs, three elderly cats and three young grandchildren, but still felt they had the time and love to care for Jasmine.

As soon as the couple met Jasmine they knew they wanted to take her home, and after meeting the rest of the family, a week later Jasmine was living with them. As Jasmine was a puppy the Coopers thought it important that she attended a good dog training club early on. Jasmine was already learning sign language, so she was able to do exactly the same as hearing dogs, but with hand signals. The Coopers actually found it much easier to train Jasmine then their hearing dogs, as she was less easily distracted.

Mrs Cooper comments: “We are so pleased that we were able to adopt Jasmine, we feel she is one of life’s special dogs, she is affectionate, loyal, funny and a pleasure to have around. She also is a lot calmer than our other dogs as she doesn’t get stressed by noises, she doesn’t bark when the door bell rings and has no problems getting to sleep.

“She is also lovely with all the other pets and also our Grand-children. Even two year old Grand- daughter Millie has learnt the signs to communicate with her. We would totally recommend rehoming a deaf dog, as it is very rewarding.”

Alison Rodger, Dogs Trust Salisbury Rehoming Centre comments: “While we don’t tend to have many deaf dogs at the centre, when we do they are often overlooked. People are either concerned of the commitment that they are taking on or feel that they won’t be able to cope.

However very often these dogs tend to be the most loving, as if they realise they might have a harder time finding a special home and tend to reward their new owners with plenty of love for their devotion.”