Tomorrow, after the DeWitt Animal Hospital in DeWitt, NY opens, a member of Angels of Fur will be there to pick up Rufus. An American Bulldog/Pit Bull Terrier mix, Rufus was brought into the shelter by animal control after he was found wandering the streets of Syracuse. He had fleas and a case of mange. Both are being treated and he is expected to be just fine.
However what may not be treatable is his lack of hearing. You see, Rufus is deaf, a condition not necessarily uncommon to his breed but certainly no reason to not have a home of his own.
How do I know? I own a deaf dog, or rather, he owns me. And he is truly one of the best dogs I have ever had. Very kind and wonderfully happy. Similarly, the people at DeWitt Animal Hospital will quickly tell you that Rufus is a very “sweet and loving guy.”
People ask me how I communicate with my deaf dog. Well, if you have a dog, you probably already use your hands when you talk to them. When you say “sit,” do you point down with your finger? Do you hold up your hands when you are telling your dog to stay? Do you motion towards yourself when you say “come here?” Then you are communicating via your own kind of sign language already. And it’s not much different with a deaf dog.
Tomorrow, Rufus will be placed with a trainer who will begin to teach Rufus Sign Language. From there, we will progress to finding Rufus his forever home. He does not necessarily have to be an only dog. My deaf dog is one of several dogs I care for. But it is also okay if he is the only dog. In the coming days, we will feature updates on Rufus so you can follow his journey from a shelter to a forever home (because I am know we will find his new home). We will also include more information about deafness in dogs. I hope you will follow along and share his story with your friends and family. Somewhere out there, his new home is looking and waiting for him.
If you are interested in adopting Rufus or you have more questions, please leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
Here are some humorous (and mostly true) observations from owners of deaf dogs: