https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/deaf-man-adopts-deaf-rescue-puppy-teaches-sign/story?id=62700366
Animals

Deaf Man Adopts Deaf Puppy And Teaches Him Sign Language

May 6th, 2019

Nick Abbott of Maine has been deaf his whole life. So, when he saw a rescue puppy advertised on the NFR Maine Facebook, he knew he needed to act. The puppy, named Emerson, was also deaf which made Abbot feel like they were meant to be together. He contacted the organization and the rest is history.

Here is the story of the little, deaf puppy and his deaf owner in what some are calling a match made in heaven.

Learning How to Communicate

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Wag! Source: Wag!

Just like humans, pets can also be born, or become deaf. This is especially the case with dogs, with 5 to 10 percent of dogs suffering from some form of deafness. And while you might think it more difficult, or even impossible, to train a deaf dog, that is usually not the case.

The main difference between training a hearing dog from a deaf dog is the means of communication. Whereas you can train a hearing dog using audible cues, deaf dogs require the use of hand signals. Just think how much easier it must be for Abbott, who had a step up by already knowing sign language.

A Rough Start to Life

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Facebook/Lindsay Powers Source: Facebook/Lindsay Powers

Emerson was found by NFR Maine on the streets along with his siblings. Immediately after being found, the small Labrador started to have seizures. To add insult to injury, little Emerson also contracted a case of parvo shortly after being rescued. Parvo, if not treated can lead to stomach issues or even death.

It was also discovered after his recovery that Emerson was deaf and visually impaired. At 12-weeks old, the organization had little hope that Emerson would be adopted, but they posted about the pup on their Facebook anyway in the hope that someone would show an interest.

The NFR Maine Facebook Page

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Facebook/NFR Maine Source: Facebook/NFR Maine

After posting about Emerson on the NFR Maine Facebook page, NFR Maine was contacted by Nick Abbott who was interested in meeting the Labrador puppy. Abbott felt that the puppy and he would have a special bond because they shared the same hearing difficulties.

A Bond is Formed

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Instagram/nickandemerson Source: Instagram/nickandemerson

Upon arriving with his mom to meet Emerson, the two quickly developed a special bond. Emerson immediately made his way over to Abbott and lay down at his feet. A rep for the organization was sol that their being together was fated.

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Instagram/nickandemerson Source: Instagram/nickandemerson

Upon getting home, Abbott started to teach Emerson how to communicate, using the sign language that he himself uses in his everyday life. Soon, the puppy was responding to Abbott’s signs, including “sit”, “lie down,” and “come.” Abbott can even get Emerson to bark on command by reaching up and shaking his earlobe.

Friends for Life

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KLTV Source: KLTV

The two quickly became inseparable and Abbott has even created a joint Instagram account with Emerson where he posts pictures of their time together, referring to them as “two deaf boys and their adventures!” Here is a video detailing the special relationship between a man and his dog in more detail.

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Source: Good Morning America

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