A deaf dog has struck up an adorable friendship with a hearing-impaired volunteer – and they communicate through SIGN LANGUAGE.
Phoebe Curtis, 18, has trained five-year-old crossbreed Lollie how to sit, lie down and raise her paws by using hand signals.
The pooch has been with the Dogs Trust rehoming centre in Evesham, Worcs., since June, and it was feared that her deafness would put off potential adopters.
But when Phoebe started volunteering a month later, the two struck up an immediate bond.
Lollie had previously been living with a family, but it is understood that she had to be handed in because the owners were expecting a child.
Phoebe, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks., said: “I absolutely adore Lollie.
“When I found out there was a deaf dog at the centre, I just knew that I had to meet her.
“Lollie already knew some hand signals so I started to spend time with her and almost instantly felt that we had a connection.
“We enjoy playing together in the paddocks and having cuddle in her kennel. 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 perfectly possible to bond with a deaf dog and train them to respond to lots of different commands.
“She reminds me a bit of me in the fact that she hasn’t let a hearing impairment hold her back.
“She gives the best cuddles and will make a wonderful pet for someone. I hope she find a new family soon with someone who can give her the home she deserves.
“She’s a deaf dog, but she’s a normal dog to me.
“I know she can’t hear you, but she still loves doing everything, she can do anything.
“She can do paw, sit down, lie down and you can do more – she can still train.
“She deserves a home. She deserves a second chance.”
Chris Slight, manager at the centre, said: “When Lollie came into us, we were so worried that she’d be overlooked because of her deafness as sometimes people feel they wouldn’t be able to cope with a dog like Lollie.
“But deaf dogs can have a perfectly normal life and can be trained fairly easily using hand signals and positive, reward-based techniques.
“Despite never being able to hear someone call her a good girl, her lack of hearing hasn’t held her back.
“Phoebe has proved that dogs like Lollie are able to develop special bonds with people if they communicate with them in a language they understand.”
The centre are advising that a home without children or other animals would be best suited for Lollie, with a family who have experience in training deaf dogs.