Friday, July 3, 2009

Deaf Dog Advocacy & Education

"A deaf dog is a dog first, a breed second, a personality third, and deaf last." This insight is from an article provided by a great advocacy organization called D2Care. Founded in 2006, D2Care is committed to providing education about deaf dogs and dispelling the many myths that prevent them from being adopted. On the D2Care website there are all kinds of helpful reading recommendations, along with links to dog body language diagrams, American Sign Language dictionaries, and more.

The majority of D2Care members have deaf dogs themselves, and they are quick to point out that canine deafness is only regarded as a fault from a human standpoint. Here is an excerpt from one of D2Care's articles by T.E. Houston:

"Deafness is viewed as a problem because the major human communication line between the dog and the owner is disrupted. When we speak to (or yell at) our dogs, we expect them to respond... Despite that, our body language speaks volumes: our stance, facial expression, hands, gestures, eyes - our whole body 'speaks.' Our dogs are very attuned to this non-verbal form of communication. The dogs respond not just to the words we speak, but to our body language, maybe even more so than the words. Our dogs 'read' us far better than we can read them."

In addition to sharing educational resources with dog guardians, D2Care is also committed to providing funding for deaf dogs in need. Over the past several years, the organization has paid for several air transports of deaf dogs, including the adorable Great Dane puppies pictured above. Despite being slated for death because of their deafness, these lovely girls are now thriving in loving homes due to the heroic efforts of D2Care!


VickiT said...

The pups in that photo are seriously cute. Good for D2Care for the resources they are providing. It's SO nice to see so many groups like this helping people with special needs pets.

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