Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘hearing ear dogs

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

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…

View original post 521 more words

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

Olivia

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 intensive training to qualify to become a hearing ear dog. Approximately 25% of the dogs do not make it through the training but are found good homes as pets.  Those that do make it are honoured with a nice graduation ceremony. This is not the end of the training though, as it continues for their entire working life.

Hearing impaired individuals in need of a dog, are flown to the school from all over Canada to meet the dogs and find one that would be compatible. Gloria knew the minute she met Olivia that she was the one.  She then spent 18 days with Olivia, training together and getting to know one another, before they both returned to their home in Redcliff, Alberta.

Olivia gets up when Gloria does and stays by her side all day.  She alerts her when the door bell rings, when someone knocks, and when the fax, phone, stove timer, microwave, alarm clock, smoke alarm, or security alarm go off.  Once, when the battery in Gloria’s smoke alarm was getting weak and making a beeping sound, Olivia woke her up and insisted she leave the house. This amazing dog can understand some sign language and is trained to hear a baby cry.  She goes everywhere with Gloria; shopping, restaurants, church, meetings, coffee shops and more.  If some one calls out or the cell phone rings, she alerts Gloria.  She currently goes to schools with Gloria to do presentations on Hearing Ear Dogs.

Gloria has been asked some crazy questions like, “Can your dog tell you if something is wrong with your car?” or “Does your dog sign to you what people say?”

Olivia is very friendly and not afraid of anything. Except once, during a visit to the zoo with the grandchildren, a brazen tiger stared right at the dog and Olivia shook uncontrollably. The only time she lost her cool. She can be a quite a clown and is always happy.  At a birthday bowling party, she chased the ball down the lane, much to the amusement of everyone. She gets excited, but takes her job seriously.

During a recent visit, my grandsons tried to give her a treat but she wouldn’t take it.  Olivia is trained not to take food from strangers. She gets Dairy Queen treats once in a while and loves Cheerios.  She is often rewarded for good behaviour and for simply doing her job. Cheerios make a nice light snack and help prevent her from gaining weight.  Olivia stood patiently in the backyard until Gloria gave her the go ahead signal to chew on her bone.  My grandsons were most impressed with this hard working, clever dog.

Gloria is happy to have Olivia in her life.  She said, “We all have choices. Life is what you make of it.  You need to deal with what life hands you and carry on.” Being hearing impaired has not stopped her from living a full life; travelling, entertaining, spending time with her grandchildren and meeting with old friends like me.  I was impressed with Olivia and inspired by Gloria.

For more information on Hearing Ear Dogs: http://www.dogguides.com/doghome.htm


click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Click to purchase

click to purchase

click to purchase

Pig on Trial

click to purchase

Join me on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,096 other followers

Archives

Goodreads

click to read review