Kris Eslick teaches Deaf children. Her wonderful male Labrador Luke, donated by Guide Dogs for The Blind, is in training by Kris with the assistance of the Hearing Dog Program (HDP) to be her new Hearing Dog. Since Kris has extensive training experience in agility, AKC obedience, and in addition, maintaining the training of her previous Hearing Dog, she is ideally suited for our new kind of placement. In this new program, the partner trains their dog with help from the HDP until the dog meets our graduation requirements. Luke is learning incredibly fast. Kris has motivated him to even go beyond his training level to do real life alerts more and more often. Thanks to her hard work and enthusiasm (and Luke’s too), this team is right on track for our June graduation.
“I’ve got to brag,” says Kris. “I’m at my 1st period Kindergarten class this morning, and as I turn to leave, I see one of my student’s classmates, Jenny, crying inconsolably. Jenny’s pet, a turtle she planned to bring to show and tell, died this morning.”
“I ask Jenny’s teacher, ‘Would your grieving studtent like to lead Luke to the front of the class, for show and tell, and introduce him as Luke, a dog learning to be a Hearing Dog?’
“I practiced a command all week with Luke: ‘Luke, go get Kris!’ After instructing Jenny to use this command and then point to me, she did as instructed smiling broadly. Luke then came over, nudged me and trotted over to the girl for his waiting treat! All the kids clapped and, as we left, yelled ‘Good bye, Luke!’”
Yeah, Luke! May you always bring smiles, where there were tears!