We “marked” National Dog Day in August but who could wait until next year to celebrate our precious pooches?!
For those of you who have one of these four-legged fur babies in your home right now, you know there is nothing like the loyalty of a dog. They love us, lick us, trust us, follow us, obey us, disobey us, make us laugh, lap up our attention, comfort us and cuddle us in such an unconditional way.
They can also challenge us.
Our sweet dog Jeffrey has separation anxiety, which I feel like I could write a book about at this point. But here, I would like to talk about the little guy with the big, beautiful noggin you see in the picture.
You can ooh and aah all you want about how absolutely fantastically adorable he is, and marvel over his awesome, full-of-character underbite, but Tuggle won’t hear you.
He was born deaf.
My co-worker Kristen Quon adopted Tuggle, knowing she knew nothing about raising a puppy – let alone one with a disability. The important thing though, she’s ALL in.
“A big challenge I have had with Tuggle is trying to get his attention,” Kristen told me. “For most dogs, you can simply call their name, but for Tuggle it’s a bit more difficult.”
Kristen is saving her pennies to buy Tuggle a vibrating collar.
“It’s kind of like a pager for dogs,” said Kristen. “When you push a button on the remote, the collar vibrates and he’s trained to look at you for commands.”
So then how would they communicate? Kristen and Tuggle are learning American Sign Language. How cool is that?!
In the meantime, Tuggle is satisfying his curiosity about his environment by chewing on everything. He’s developed a taste for Kristen’s designer bags and shoes. Expensive habit, Tuggle!
In the end, it’s tough to be upset with Tuggle; he always comes back with a snuggle. J
“The best part about Tuggle is how affectionate and loving he is,” said the proud mama. “He’s constantly in my lap or trying to get me to play with him. Because he’s deaf, he relies completely on me. He has taught me a lot about communication and learning to be patient.”
We humans can learn so much from our dogs.