Darlene Foster's Blog

Ears on Four Legs

Posted on: July 27, 2016

Four years ago I wrote this blog about a very special dog. Today I heard the sad news that she has crossed over the rainbow bridge. RIP Olivia. ❤

Darlene Foster's Blog

Olivia is a British Black Lab, and is registered with the Canadian Kennel Club as DGC (Dog Guide Canada) Lexis Olivia. This lively, friendly dog belongs to Gloria, a hearing impaired person who depends on Olivia for her safety, security, independence and companionship. Olivia is not her pet. She is a working dog, on shift 24/7, who takes her job seriously.  She is a Hearing Ear Dog.


Olivia has been partnered with Gloria for 6 years.  She came from the Dog Guide Canada school for dogs in Oakville, Ontario.  The dogs come from DGC’s own breeding program, the SPCA and individual dog donations.  They come in all shapes, sizes and breeds, to suit the needs of different individuals. They are all dependable, smart and loyal. The dogs go to foster homes when they are weaned from their mothers for about one year, and then return to the school for six months of…

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14 Responses to "Ears on Four Legs"

One of our young teachers in our school also suffers from heating impairment and has to bring her dog, Scout, to school to warn her of high pitch noises like smoke alarms, which she cannot hear. These dogs are truly amazing and Scout is a huge hit with both students and staff!

I am very sorry to hear about Oscar’s passing, but I am sure he will be in doggy heaven, maybe playing with my dear Bramble, who left this world 4 years ago. Not a day goes past that I don’te think of him. All my love. ❤❤❤

These dogs are incredible! I am sure your Bramble knows you still love him.

That was meant to be Olivia, not Oscar! Sorry!

Your title drew me in. Because I knew that service dogs are allowed in restaurants in other establishments with their owners, I knew about seeing-eye dogs. Thanks for telling a heart-warming story of the hearing-EAR dog!

This is a lovely tribute to a Olivia’s life.

Until I met Olivia, I was unaware of hearing ear dogs. She was very special. Gloria has had a new dog for a couple of years now and Olivia was retired as a pet and friend to Gloria.

It’s always so sad to lose a loved pet. I still miss my Shasta (german shepherd/husky/wolf). Little Meyya (miniature schnauzer/poodle) is company but very much more of a care than my larger dog was.
I remembered reading your post about Olivia; thanks for the update. I bet your friend misses her so much. I wonder how many pieces our heart can be torn into and still keep us going …

It is always hard to lose a pet. Sometimes one thinks we shouldn’t even get one because of the inevitable, but we do it anyway. Like people, we need to love them while we can. ❤

What a special pup who has made such a difference. Hoping its meadows and sunshine for Olivia now.

Olivia is enjoying her rewards I am sure!!

Lovely tribute, Darlene! I love stories about service dogs. And, my daughter is hearing impaired, but wears hearing aids.

Service dogs are so special. When hearing aids no longer worked for my friend, she was given a hearing ear dog. Her life is now so much better. The downside is that dogs don´t live very long.

This is the first I learn about Hearing Ear Dogs. I read your original post on Olivia and she sounded very professional (not taking treats from strangers) and sweet. My condolences to Gloria and her family. RIP, dear Olivia. You’ve done very well, love.

How very sweet of you, Claudine. Olivia has done well.

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