"With Archer by my side, I have nothing to fear"
Posted by Matt Sadler
Rachel and hearing dog Archer recently celebrated their first anniversary of being a partnership, and this incredible Cocker Spaniel is already helping Rachel to live life the way she wants.
Rachel shares her story:
“I have no idea why my hearing went. I was fine until the age of about three and consultants are not sure what happened, but they think it might be the result of a faulty gene.
“I applied for a hearing dog, because I was relying on my husband to be my ears. I didn't like going out by myself because of not being able to hear properly. I felt like I couldn't relax.
“I also felt isolated. I wasn’t able to keep up with conversation and then I became exhausted trying to lipread. I often just skipped social events unless I could go with my husband.
“My biggest struggle was not hearing the doorbell, smoke alarm, and feeling ignored by society. I think the biggest struggle is that deafness, in my opinion, isn’t always seen as a disability and something that has a massive impact. It's not just something that happens when you're much older
“Education can be affected if you don't have a supportive school, and the same with places of work. Mental wellbeing is often affected as a result of this.
“I knew I needed a hearing dog when I realised how much I was missing out on. Those social events that I avoided, not hearing fire alarms or a friend calling round. This was all missed.
“My journey started when I met with a friend who has a hearing dog. Seeing how much Bertie had changed his life, blew me away. So, I applied, and the rest as they say is history.
“On 17 August last year, hearing dog Archer arrived in my life. I was nervous, excited, and relieved. It was finally happening.
“I knew he was going to drastically change my life; however, I wasn't prepared for how much.
“I spent the first few weeks just spontaneously bursting into tears. Tears of pure joy and relief. With Archer I didn't need to try and hide my deafness anymore. I didn't need to worry about missing important sounds, or a delivery.
“But I think most importantly, this wonderfully clever, cuddly, and often cheeky little dog, opened up my world. I've made friends for life, friends that without Archer, I would never have known they existed.
“My confidence has increased, my self-worth and self-belief also. My wonderful husband has noticed a change in me, and in himself since Archer's arrival.
“Instead of trying to blend in with the rest of society, Archer encourages me to stand out, to take those steps into the unknown, because with him by my side, I have nothing to fear.
“And the fact that he obviously has absolutely no idea that he's changed our life so much, makes him all the more remarkable.
“I am Rachel, and I'm deaf and proud.”
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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