My Deaf Dog

Walter is 13 years old this year.  Not sooo old but no spring chicken either.  He actually is doing very well because 2 years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was never expected to be with us so long. Therefore we will take the deafness.

We started to notice the issue about a year ago.  He would be sleeping somewhere in the house and the other dogs would start barking and he would just continue to sleep.  At first I though this a great boon with him being such a talker and all, what the heck a little silence.  Then we realized it wasn’t him just being quiet it was him not hearing.

Other things that started happening were he would stand starring at a door while I stood near by calling to him.  He had no idea I was there.  One day I came home and he wasn’t with the pack to greet me.  Oh no, I thought that was it.  I looked all over looking where he might be.  Of course, he was sleeping in the most unusual place and had heard none of the commotion of me coming home.  It’s almost scary that I can walk up behind him and he has no idea I am there.  He has also taken to being even more of a velcro dog.  I suppose being that he can’t hear me he needs to be near me at all times.  And if he can’t see me he will start searching the house for me, room by room.  It almost feels like having a stalker.

Knowing he is having this problem I try to make things a little easier for him.  When I come home I will walk heavy to try and make some vibrations.  We use a lot of hand signals and I am learning it is useless to call or ask him to be quiet as “he can’t hear me”.  I need to make the extra effort to get in front of him so he can see me and we can communicate.  But all in all our time together is a blessing and we are just going to enjoy it for as long as we can.