Dogs have always been known as the most loyal and smartest animal to humankind. They have a different kind of love and affection towards their owners or parents. And there’s no doubt that dog parents treat them as their children too. Recently, a story of a dog came to light who was deaf by birth but quickly managed to learn sign language to communicate with his human parents.
Jo Le Page of Guernsey attempted to train her seven-month-old Spanish Water Dog, Rafa, using signs after learning that the canine was deaf. The dog has so far mastered nine distinct signs, including sit, stand, watch me, spin, give paw, lie down, come, stay, and be safe, which is indicated by the dog approaching Jo before turning around and remaining in place. Using Jo’s cue, he can also take a toy out of his owner’s hand. Jo wants to keep teaching Rafa new sign and help him lead a wholesome and fulfilling life.
Jo shared her furry pet’s journey of learning sign language so far. Rafa came into Jo’s life in June of this year, and she was completely unaware of his deafness until she started noticing the signs. Once she had it figured out, Jo and her family decided to train him using actions and not words. It was a different experience altogether and opened a new world for the family. She hopes for Rafa to be a therapy dog one day. She believes that by sharing Rafa’s story, other dog owners will be motivated to keep their handicapped pets. Jo and her family were aware of how hard this journey would be, but one thing that helped them was education. Reading and learning about his condition and ways to overcome it has made their journey slightly less bumpy.