I am deaf as an oak post! But I don't mind i sleep so soundly!
I was the last born of my litter - a few hours after the others all arrived I surprised my big mum by turning up - just when she thought it was all over. I was and still am the smallest! I used to have to eat my food on my own as all my greedy brothers and sisters would try to take my food and being the smallest that just wasn't fair!
At about 4/5 weeks old my big mum started to notice that I slept alot and that when she came in to see us I stayed asleep. She watched me and tried to see if I was hearing her by dropping things behind me and clapping her hands or blowing her whistle. She had a sneaky suspicion that I was deaf and asked some people on something called the DFB forum if anyone knew about deaf dogs. No one had a deaf dog but some of the people knew others and one lady suggested I went for a hearing test at the Animal Health Trust in a place quite a way from here called Newmarket.
I was booked in and when I was only about 8/9 weeks old I went to have my hearing test with big mum and Aunty Kay. My dog mum Molly came with me as I had only been to our local vets once in the car. I didn't mind because big mum put me in a snug box in the crate and Molly mum she slept next to me. We arrived and I got to meet a lovely lady who stuck not so lovely needles in my head to monitor my brain waves. Then they played me sounds - little ticking type sounds and waited for my brain to respond to them. Normal readings show a picture like a mountain range but my reading - it was like the countryside round my home - flat!!
I am the only black labrador puppy born deaf on the ladies list - my claim to fame! I don't mind because I get to sleep soundly and big mum she has taught me all these signs which mean different things I need to do. If I am not looking - and sometime I choose not to look or pretend I didn't see! - then big mum calls one of my dog friends and I tend to follow one of them - usually Brooke my best friend and sister.
Brooke is my guide when we are out or maybe Molly and Nell. They are good at going back to mum and she feeds me nice biscuits whenever I go back to her so I like to do that quite often!!
When I was 6 months mum started taking me to work with her and I would go for a walk there and then go and lie in her office until she had finished. After work she would take me to a training group to take part in my GCDS awards. I was soon bored though and sat my bronze and silver awards within a few weeks of joining and set about doing my gold award. I had to do strange things like stay down and wait for mum to come back and she was gone for ages, or suddenly stop when mum said so - not easy for a girl who can't hear! When I was doing my test - I had the sudden urge to do puppy things and was naughty but big mum was still proud of me she said because I was still under one year old and she said that was clever!
I am doing ok and have enjoyed some great walks lately but mum is busy with Molly mum and Aunty Nell and Al Dad getting them fit and ready to start work in the shooting season. I think I would quite like to go and Brooke definitely wants to go because she is good at retrieving. Me I like to run off with things - seems to be more fun!
I really love my life and am very happy in my home with my human and doggie family around me. No one who comes knows I am deaf unless mum tells them and I don't know any different - what you don't have you don't miss. I would like to meet some other deaf dogs and want to go out and about to schools and teach little children to be nice to me and all my doggie peers. So much more I need to do and I just can't wait!