Through our sadness for this loss, I tried to find a silver lining. This was a special victory because not only was Gibbie absolutely gorgeous and so delightful, she was also deaf. Because of a quirk in genetics, white dogs have a greater chance of having hearing deficits. Often if a breeder finds out a pup is deaf, they decide to euthanize because they see deafness as a “defect”. In a rescue dog, this can also make it tougher to find an adopter. Luckily Gibbie met just the right person who realized her condition made her special - owner Kim Gruber. Kim told me that years ago when she decided to get a dog she knew that she wanted to rescue because she wanted to show love, care and affection to an animal that had been given up and needed a forever home. In her search for the right dog to rescue, Kim came across Gibbie. At first she was worried about having a dog with hearing problems. So many things came to mind - how would they communicate? How could she call Gibbie if there was danger? She did some research and found out that there are trainers who work specifically with deaf dogs. They
help owners and their dogs learn visual cues to correct or modify behaviors and to allow you to interact with your dog. Animal Lovers of Edisto Canine Rescue referred Kim to Susan at Purely Positive training. She worked with them to find a system of training that worked for the family. Other than a few caveats, training a deaf dog is very similar to training a hearing dog and both types of dogs love feeling safe and secure, cared for and being part of a furever home (all things that Kim provided in spades).