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I Can't Hear You!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Unstoppables!

We are excited to share others’ Love Stories with you. Our first love story is of a family who has adopted 2 deaf cattle dogs (Tiberius & Harriet) and a blind pug (Geordi), in addition to their pug mix and kitties. They have a house full of love, antics, and an assortment of experiences.

Their mom, Kristy, took time to talk to us about her first differently-abled adoption, Tiberius.

Hi Kristy! It’s so nice to talk to you about your handsome boy! What is his special trait?

o Tiberius is an Australian Cattle Dog

and he's deaf.

Have you had differently abled pets previously?

o Tiberius was my first disabled pet; since then I adopted another deaf cattle dog and I

just recently adopted a blind pug.

How did you come to adopt Tiberius?

o He was owned by my neighbors, I looked after him while my neighbor was working,

and I fell in love with Tiberius. Fortunately for me and Tiberius my neighbor did not have

the time or interest in exercising or training a dog and most certainly not a deaf one!

One day I decided to ask my neighbor if I could have her dog, and I am fortunate that an

hour later she gave me Tiberius.

How did you go about learning to train him?

o To start with all I really knew was that a tired dog was a good dog. I didn't have a lot of

experience with dogs but I was determined to give Tiberius a good life so we went on

LOTS of walks, played frisbee, and consulted Google to find ways to learn to train my

deaf dog. One of the first things I taught him was to watch me, in my opinion that is by

far the most important thing you can teach a deaf dog. I lucked out and have a food

motivated dog so training him wasn't too complicated.

How have you changed your training style over time?

o I think I am more relaxed now. After Tiberius hit about 2 or 3 years old anything he did

wrong, like rooting through the litter box, became easily corrected with a stern glare. I stil

find that I train my dogs similarly as I did in the beginning, I try to set my dogs up for

success and just try to have reasonable expectations.

What advice would you give other pet parents with similar fur kids?

o A tired dog is a good dog. Follow through with training, do a little every day.

What has been your greatest challenge?

o Tiberius learned to turn around when

I want to get his attention and ask him

to do something, he has outsmarted

me. On a serious note, my current

challenge is learning to train my

newest addition-- the blind pug,

Geordi. I have no experience with

blind dogs so it's my new challenge.

What has been your greatest joy?

o Teaching Tiberius to walk off leash. I moved to the Netherlands with Tiberius and my

other deaf cattle dog, Harriet, and I saw how well trained everyones’ dogs were and it

drove me to want to teach Tiberius better leash manners. I realized that I had to take

away the leash and start over with my then 3 year old boy and in the end I wound up with

a deaf dog who I could safely walk off leash and has pretty nice leash manners.

What would you say to someone who is hesitant to foster or adopt a differently-abled dog?

o With the proper motivation anyone can do it and it's so rewarding to train a differently-

abled dog. I think if you're willing to go on two good walks a day and spend 10-15

minutes working on training once or twice a day you're going to end up with a well-

trained dog that someone else may have just given up on simply because the animal

was missing one of its senses.

What else do you want to share about your experience with differently-abled dogs?

o Once you have one differently-abled dog you'll likely always have one-- they're so

unique and are such a joy to have in your life you may never want to live without one.

Although frustrating, it's also pretty hilarious that Tiberius learned that if he looks away

from me it means he can't "hear me."

It was so much fun spending time with Kristy and her adorable furry family.

We look forward to sharing more stories with you to spread the joy of our differently-able pups!

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