Sunday, 28 February 2016

Deaf as a .....Dog!

Now I'm definitely a 'glass half full' kind of dog so I see diminishing hearing due to old age as an advantage. After years of faking, I genuinely don't hear the commands of 'Them Indoors' which is largely a plus. When 'Her Indoors' noticed that I was no longer responding to the 'pssst' from 'Him Indoors' that signified delivery of an illicit treat and to the door bell, she started researching 'deaf dogs' on the Internet (Google has a lot to answer for!). She discovered that deaf dogs could be trained to hand signals, and nothing daunted by my years of ignoring conventional requests, thought that signs might help our mutual understanding. And it does, to a point. Whilst it's not exactly British School of Sign Language compliant, I do understand slapped thighs as come, together with pointing to ensure the appropriate direction. I also understand 'thumbs up' to mean I've been good (hurrah - where's the treats) and I avoid eye contact for the wagging finger that serves as a reprimand. Rather than asking me to 'sit' she pokes at my rear end, which is unsubtle but effective. 'Lie down' is a hand flat on the floor. So far so good. When I'm out in the garden however, I don't know where she is and she doesn't know where I am, so we can happily avoid each other for hours! That was until she had the bright idea of fastening a bell to my collar. Now she can track me down and get within line of sight, which makes her difficult to ignore without censure. However, I think I might have slipped up a little. When I'm in the garden but there's a likelihood of something nice like tea, I make sure I keep a watching eye on her, responding instantly to a change in body language that suggests she might be heading indoors. When it's not to my advantage, she's noticed I studiously ignore looking in her direction so I can rightly claim ignorance of any command. And who could scold a deaf dog? Occasionally though, it doesn't work in my favour. When I'm up to no good, which is of course hardly ever, she has a horrible habit of sneaking up on me and tapping me on the back. It makes me jump - most unnerving, and I'm ashamed to say, makes 'Her Indoors' laugh. Honestly, you'd expect aged infirmity to attract some sympathy, after all, she's not in the first flush of youth herself....
La la laa - not listening!


  1. Oh I do love your blog!!! Your Rolo sounds just like mine, he has such a strong determination to do exactly what he wants when he wants to. P
    Other dog owners must think I'm mad when we're out walking and I have to reason with him as to why we can't go his way all the time. Also when he wants to go out into the back garden at night he stands by the conservatory doors and stares at our reflections until one of us gets up, he won't actually turn his head and look at us directly. Hope your dogs selective hearing doesn't hold him back. Janice & Rolo

  2. Hmmmmm, I'm coming up 12. Must write down some of these tips. Thanks for sharing.