Meet Our own deaf
My name is Jennifer Dacus and I have a 17 month old deaf Great Dane named Joxer.
I had always wanted a Great Dane, but was waiting until I graduated from college to get one. However, about a year and a half ago a friend of mine in vet school phoned my mother and told her that she had a 6 week old Great Dane puppy. There was a catch...he was deaf. My friend said that the breeders were going to put the pup to sleep, but one of their customers, who had a full grown male Great Dane talked them into letting her take the pup and try him out.
The lady took the deaf pup and left him alone with her full grown male. When she returned the pup was covered with blood. The lady called the vet school at Mississippi State to see if they would take the pup. My friend went to get the pup and said the pup was covered in blood. The lady had not even attempted to clean him off. My friend was coming home that weekend and so was I (we go to two different colleges but live in the same home town). My mom had neglected to tell me that the pup had been attacked. The only thing I knew was that he was deaf. We have always had animals at my house, but had never had an animal that was deaf before. We decided to take the pup. When my friend showed up at my home with this pup that had bandages covering his neck and a swollen head, I was thinking to myself; "What have I got myself into?".
Well, I did some research and was horrified at the number of animals that are put to sleep simply because they are deaf or blind. I found some books on deaf dogs and began to take notes on how to train Joxer. I read about deaf dogs being aggressive because they are startled so easily, so my mother and I decided to bring him to work with us everyday, to socialize him. She owns a Florist and I work for her during the summer. Joxer was an instant hit. We had people come in just to see him and most did not believe us when we said he was deaf. They would say that he just looked too normal, and did not act any different than a regular dog. Some customers would whistle at him and call his name, trying to get him to hear them. He was and is a joy to train. My mother and I both seemed to have a strong connection with Joxer. Since he had to look at us in order to "hear" us communicate with him, he seemed to pay closer attention to us. He seemed to be easier to train than our other dogs, perhaps because he had less distractions. Joxer is 17 months old now, and even though he hasn't been to the flower shop in months (his tail seemed to get in the way and push things over when he got excited, which was often since he wanted to play with everyone that came in), we still have people that ask about him.
He stays in a large 30'x30' pen when no one is at home. In the evenings he gets to run around and play with our other three dogs. He also comes in the house many evenings. He gets along great with my two cats, other dogs, and he absolutely loves children. I have never seen him act aggressively. Anyone can grab his food while he eats, which many of my friends seem surprised at. The most dangerous thing about Joxer is his tail and his slobber. He is an absolute joy to be around. My mother and I have learned a lot because of him and would not trade him for anything.
We would gladly take in another deaf Dane if we had room and would recommend a deaf dog to anyone who loves dogs. They are special creatures that will teach you, and fill your heart with love.
"Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about little puppies."
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