Home­less & deaf... give her a chance

Sign lan­guage lessons point the way

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Pet Talk - EX­CLU­SIVE BY VICKI GRIMSHAW

Deaf pooch Lol­lie was trapped in a world of lone­li­ness un­til the per­fect carer came along. Res­cue cen­tre vol­un­teer Phoebe Cur­tis is also hear­ing im­paired and now the two have struck up a spe­cial bond.

Phoebe, 18, com­mu­ni­cates with the gen­tle cross­breed us­ing sign lan­guage. She said: “Lol­lie al­ready knew some hand sig­nals so I started to spend time with her and al­most in­stantly felt that we had a con­nec­tion.

“She is the most lov­ing dog ever and adores hu­man com­pany. The meth­ods used to com­mu­ni­cate with dogs are the same for hu­mans, so it is pos­si­ble to train a deaf dog to re­spond to lots of dif­fer­ent com­mands.”

Lov­able Lol­lie has been at the Dogs Trust Eve­sham Re­hom­ing Cen­tre since June but has had very lit­tle in­ter­est from po­ten­tial adopters, pos­si­bly be­cause of her deaf­ness. So Phoebe, from Strat­ford upon Avon, has built up a range of sig­nals teach­ing five-year-old Lol­lie sit, down, stay and paw. She’s cur­rently teach­ing her the signs for “roll over” and “drop”.

Cen­tre man­ager Chris Slight said: “When Lol­lie came to us, we wor­ried she’d be over­looked. Some­times peo­ple feel they can’t cope with a dog like Lol­lie. But deaf dogs can be trained fairly eas­ily us­ing hand sig­nals and pos­i­tive, re­ward-based tech­niques.

“De­spite not ever be­ing able to hear some­one call her a good girl, her lack of hear­ing hasn’t held her back. Phoebe has proved dogs like Lol­lie are able to de­velop bonds with peo­ple.” Lol­lie would be suited to a home with­out chil­dren or other an­i­mals, ide­ally in a quiet, ru­ral lo­ca­tion. The Dogs Trust team will give Lol­lie’s new own­ers sup­port and guid­ance. If you can give her a lov­ing home, please con­tact

Dogs Trust Eve­sham on 0300 303 0292.

WAY TO GO Deaf carer Phoebe teaches Lol­lie with hand sig­nals

BOND Phoebe and Lol­lie

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