Deaf Man Adopts Deaf Dog And Teaches Him Sign Language
Nick Abbott, 31, was born deaf and adopted Emerson as a small pup from NFR Maine animal shelter in Maine, USA, after reading a post about him online.
The black Labrador mix came to the shelter after being rescued from another, and was suffering from Parvovirus and seizures as well as being deaf. Shelter workers were worried he might not make it, but the pup pulled through.
Nick noticed the social media post trying to rehome the dog, and instantly connected with Emerson when they met. "When I saw [Emerson's] post online, my heart went out for him and I wanted to meet him. We connected instantly when we met and I took him home that night," owner Nick tells Pretty52.
But now four-months-old, Emerson has come on leaps and bounds after Nick began teaching him sign language for basic commands, like sit and stay.
Nick continued: "Emerson learned sign language very quickly and it did not take long for him to understand. Good training is the key to a good dog.
"During the first week of Emerson being at his new home, we just let him be to get accustomed to the household. At the end of first week, Emerson started learning sign language and he pretty much had "sit" within two days.
"So far Emerson knows how to sit, lay down, stay, come and we are currently working on shake."
Nick says that training required a "patience, repetition, love, attention" to teach him the commands.
"Emerson [loves] a lot of physical contact. Also he loves treats!" adds the dog owner. "He is learning hand signs very quickly however his potty training has proven to be more of a challenge. He does not know how to tell me when he needs to go out."
Nick adds: "He is super smart and fits right in with other dogs. He loves adventure and is well behaved during family outings. Great with all kids and seems to be a very happy puppy!"
Lyndsay Powers, 34, who works as a foster for the shelter, says that she knew that Emerson and Nick were a match made in heaven as soon as they were introduced.
She says: "From the moment Nick walked into my kitchen and Emerson came from another room directly to him and sat at Nick's feet, I knew it was meant to be! It was heartwarmingly beautiful.
"Seeing this little pup who had almost died, living his happily ever after is what fostering is all about.
"I'm so grateful NFR Maine fought to keep him alive and even more grateful that he found a forever home as amazing as he did!"
I'm not crying, you are.
Featured Image Credit: Supplied