"Zara released me from isolation and loneliness"
Posted by Matt Sadler
Since Zara’s partnership to Lynda, this former sponsor pup has been doing a wonderful job. As well as giving Lynda the confidence to reconnect with life, she is also helping a whole new generation of young people to understand hearing loss, the value of friendship and why being kind is so important...
Lynda explains: “There are so many ways that Zara has changed my life for the better, but what I value the most is feeling like I have my friend with me all the time, which is pretty amazing.
“Before Zara, I used to avoid going out unless I really had to. Because apart from when I was with my family, I felt invisible.
“Since having Zara I no longer feel like hiding myself away, and people who didn’t speak to me before, now make a point of doing so. It’s unbelievable really, I used to feel anxious in case someone spoke to me and I couldn’t understand them. But with Zara in her hearing dog uniform, people now know that I’m deaf before they speak to me.
“I no longer need to explain or apologise, and that makes me feel so much more confident.”
Lynda is a teaching assistant at a local primary school and says Zara has also made a huge impression on the children there: “Zara loves coming to school with me. She has a welcome party waiting for her every morning and an entourage of children ready to offer help if she needs her bed or water bowl carrying.
“Learning about Zara has really helped the children understand more about deafness, as well as how to behave around dogs. She has also taught them a lot about kindness and respect –qualities that are so important for building positive relationships.
“Everyone who has been kind to Zara becomes part of her ever-growing ‘family’ – and she never forgets them.
“Last year I invited Abi, the B&B volunteer who had looked after Zara, to visit us. Although she hadn’t seen Abi for nine months, Zara recognised Abi’s car as soon she pulled up.
“It was such a precious moment that Abi recorded it on her blog: ’[Zara] came running over, bum wiggling, tail whizzing around in circles, her infamous Dobby ears curled back in excitement! It really was the loveliest feeling. That feeling is what I think of whenever someone asks me how I could bear to part with one of the gorgeous pups we’ve been lucky enough to look after. I wish I could bottle it to show them how amazing it is.’
“It was reading Abi’s blog ‘Hearing Dog Hotel’ that helped me get to know Zara and her life before me.
“From being a clumsy young pup falling off a log during her first photoshoot, through all the various stages of her training, right down to the little quirks that are clearly still so much part of her character. It’s so rewarding to be given this unique insight into a special pup’s life – it’s why I’m now a puppy sponsor myself.
“It won’t surprise any of Zara’s sponsors that her dearest love still is chasing her ball. On our walks she knows exactly when the last ball throw is coming up and, just as she did as a puppy, will try to put off the inevitable for as long as she can; holding on to her ball, hanging well back and walking in very slow motion!
“She really is the sweetest, gentlest little soul with just the right amount of cheekiness to make her the perfect dog.”
Sponsor a hearing dog puppy and help a deaf person to leave loneliness behind
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