About The Hearing Dog Program
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Such positive changes are reflected in exceptional, inspiring stories of love and devotion. People's lives have been restored through greater environmental awareness and expanded social networks. Lives have been saved through alerts to fire and smoke alarms. Hearing Dogs make a major difference in the lives of people with hearing loss.
Recognized by their happy, tail-wagging, people-loving demeanor, Hearing Dogs enjoy their "work" and eagerly learn to run between people and sounds. Their rewards are praise, kindness, and food treats. Many of the dogs selected for the Hearing Dog Program come from shelters and rescue groups throughout California, with many originating in Fresno at the Central California SPCA. Homeless dogs are saved and given rewarding jobs, and recipients gain reassurance that important sounds will not be missed, thus creating a win-win situation for all.
We are also proud of our "career change" dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA. Although becoming a Guide Dog was not in their future, they make wonderful Hearing Dogs and fulfill their destiny of helping people in a different fashion, in tune with their innate talents and personalities.
Anyone with hearing loss is welcome to apply for a Hearing Dog. Those accepted must agree to provide a safe and secure home for their dog and show an ongoing commitment to their dog's well being and training.
A careful match between dog and person ensures that each dog is placed in the best possible home. Over time, as the human/dog relationship develops, the strength of the bond provides an extra impetus for the Hearing Dogs to do their job well, and a strong team is formed. This relationship becomes a life-changing experience for both the handler and their dog.
The staff and many wonderful volunteers of The Hearing Dog Program are dedicated to our mission and are proud of the people and dogs who so greatly enrich each other's lives.
My beloved Josie is a phenomenal hearing dog. I first learned about hearing dogs through a friend who referred me and one thing led to another, I was able to register for a fully trained hearing dog who helps me stay alert at times even when my hearing aids are in, but especially so when I'm resting or got the tv on and I can't hear the door or phone. Thank you Glenn and Ashley for the incredible support you've given me along the way.
Roo and I bonded very quickly. She came home with us every night after training class, so we could practice what we learned in class. We've continued to train Roo with new sound work skills: to alert me when the timer on the stove goes off and when the tea kettle whistles. One of her most useful and common skills is to take me to my wife, Pat, when Pat sends her for me. But this actually works both ways: many times I send Roo to fetch Pat. One of the best things about Roo is her companionship -- she constantly makes me laugh. She not only puts a smile on my face, but on most everyone that comes in contact with her.