"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:

Erin and hearing dog Otis with their certificate for passing their Bronze Partnership award

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!

Hearing dog Otis with his tongue out

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!

Black Labrador Otis wearing his Hearing Dogs bandana

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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About the author

blog hearing dogs

Hi everyone, I'm Matt and I look after the Charity's social media, blog and e-newsletter.

I spend a lot of my day talking about our hearing dog superstars - it's a hard life!

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