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Rescue dog Sidney is Hearing Dog of the Month


A FORMER stray dog that has been trained to alert his deaf owner to sounds in the home has been given the accolade of being named Hearing Dog of the Month by the charity that trained him.

Tiny Jack Russell terrier Sidney was once a stray wandering the streets of Hampshire. When he was four-months-old he was taken to Southampton City Council’s stray dog kennels, where fortunately the kennel manager saw his potential and contacted Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
His cute and engaging ways, and his desire for a real purpose in life, meant he was selected for training, and in March 2007 he eventually went to live with profoundly deaf Emma Seed in Preston in Lancashire.

Emma and SidneySidney has been trained to alert Emma, 29, to many household sounds which she cannot hear including the doorbell, telephone, alarm clock and smoke alarm; all of which has provided her with a great deal of security. In addition to this, Sidney has also brought Emma companionship and confidence.

Emma recalls what life was like before Sidney: ‘The house was quiet as I couldn’t hear anything, and I would have to sleep with a vibrating alarm clock under my pillow. Invariably I was late for work as it had fallen out. I also had lots of ear infections through having to wear my hearing aids 24 hours a day, as I was scared I wouldn’t hear the smoke alarm at night.

‘If I knew someone was coming to visit, I would have to sit in the kitchen so I would hear the door bell ringing. I had to sit near the phone if I knew someone was going to call. If I wasn’t near I’d miss them.’

All of that changed with the arrival of the little Jack Russell terrier. From Sidney’s first night with Emma, she knew things would never be the same.

‘Sidney made such a difference to my life straight away. From the first day I had him I took my hearing aids out in bed and let him wake me up. It was the best night’s sleep I’d had for years. He always tells me if someone is at the door or the phone is ringing. I also have great confidence that he would wake me up if the smoke alarm went off too.’

Despite Sidney’s traumatic beginnings he has blossomed into an invaluable companion for Emma.
‘I can honestly say I couldn’t be without Sidney anymore. I often think about Sidney’s start in life – walking the streets of Southampton and I’m so happy that he now has the home and life he deserves. He’s such a special little dog – so friendly, happy, lively, well behaved and so eager to please. I was recently told that my hearing has deteriorated again, but I looked at Sidney lying at my feet and it didn’t worry me because I’ve got Sidney by my side all day, every day.’

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