A while ago I wrote an article about the possibilities of training my pet puggy to be a hearing dog and since then I’ve managed to get down to an open day at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in Buckinghamshire to probe them a bit more about the idea.
The open day itself, was extremely informative with lots to see and do. It was a sort of interactive tour of the facilities with extra bits of info here and there. All people and dogs were welcome on the grounds…although normal doggies weren’t allowed in some areas to prevent the hearing pups and dogs from catching things….like stupidity.
One part that I particularly enjoyed was making my partner experience the horror, that is tinnitus in a variety of rage inducing forms. She tried reading, watching tv and lip reading while listening to various whistles beeps and squeaks…
She did pretty well in the lip reading test but overall found the experience frustrating and was glad to be rid of the headphones at the end of it all.
But I digress…we were there for the dogs, not to torment my partner (I can do that whenever I feel like it).
So, are we any closer in my quest for a hearing puggy?
Sadly, not really. According to all those in the know, there is no way of certifying your pet dog, as a hearing dog.
You can have a pet dog trained and registered as an assistance dog with Dog Aid, but for some reason they don’t work with Deaf clients (unless you have other disabilities as well)….go figure.
It’s all good though, I still love the pug and I can still train him to be useful in his own way, thanks to a very helpful demo given at the hearing dog open day.
He can already sit, lay down and high five (the most important of all dog skills) with verbal AND sign commands…well…as long as there’s an edible reward involved…
It’s just a shame that we wont ever have the same privileges as other owner/assistance dog partnerships.
Read more of Teresa’s articles for us by clicking here.
Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out 7 things deaf people want you to know!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- BSL Zone: TV programmes in BSL for the Deaf community
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Hearing Choices: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people