Friday, May 23, 2014

A Perfect Pair of Signers

Rosie, a resident at the Central Nebraska Humane Society, had a difficult time opening up when she first arrived at the shelter earlier this year. Workers had a hard time connecting with the shy pit bull mix and couldn't figure out why she was so unresponsive. And then it hit volunteer, Tracie Pfeifle: Rosie was deaf. She wasn't coming out of her shell because she had no way of communicating with her human companions.

Happily, Pfeifle began teaching Rosie visual signs, and the dog's attitude completely changed.

“It was just amazing to watch her blossom,” Pfeifle says. “I don't think she knew how to be a dog.”

Even though Rosie was happier and picking up on her sign language quickly, she still needed to find the right owner. The story would not be as good if it didn't have a happily-ever-after ending! Fear not; it does:

Cindy Koch had always wanted a deaf dog. Koch, who is deaf herself, says she wanted to relate to Rosie and understand how she feels. Since Koch and her family already know American Sign Language, learning Rosie's sign language was no problem. Plus, they plan on teaching Rosie more signs.

“I'm going to teacher her my sign language, how deaf people communicate,” says Koch. “She's a smart dog; she can pick up fast.”

It looks like a great match!

(And it also goes to show that there is a shelter pet for everyone! If you're looking for an animal companion, think adoption first. They need you as much as you need them!)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

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