"He’s not just a hearing dog who alerts me to sounds, he’s my best friend."
Posted by Matt Sadler
Twenty-one-year-old Erin recently celebrated the first anniversary of being partnered with hearing dog Otis, and it’s safe to say that this incredible black Labrador has already made a huge difference to her life.
Erin shares her story in her own words:
My name is Erin, I am 21 years old. I was born with a sensorineural hearing loss.
I was born into a hearing family and no one had much awareness of deafness. When I was younger, I was fitted with a cochlear implant. As I became a young deaf teenager, I had more confidence wobbles than a young person with ‘normal’ hearing may have. The added communication barriers I faced every day really affected my confidence.
My deafness is not visible and the everyday tasks such as getting on public transport, popping to the corner shop, and meeting new people filled me with dread. I stopped leaving the house and would retreat to my bedroom and stay there for hours on end.
My family applied to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as we all thought a hearing dog would really help me and in March last year I was matched with my handsome black Labrador Otis. I came home with Otis the day before the full Coronavirus lockdown in March, it was a close call I can tell you that!
I have used the time in the past year to get to know Otis and we have formed a great partnership. He has changed my life enormously and brings me lots of joy, happiness, and confidence. My family have noticed this too.
There’s never a dull moment with Otis, he’s not just a hearing dog who alerts me to sounds, he’s my best friend and we are already planning new adventures to come over the next year!
Meet the pups in our Puppy Training Scheme
These cute puppies are training to become life-changers. Sponsor them from £3 a month and follow their journey as they learn how to help a deaf person.
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