"Getting a hearing dog was the best thing that ever could happen to me"

Posted by Matt Sadler

Lauren and her hearing dog Douglas are staying with dad, Simon, this weekend, to celebrate Father’s Day and to say thank you...

Lauren was born profoundly deaf. In 2008, at the age of nine, she became one of just 12 children to be partnered with a hearing dog in a pilot study, partly funded by the BBC Children in Need Appeal.

Dad, Simon, remembers: “Even before her hearing dog Sam arrived at our home, Lauren changed from a quiet child, not willing to interact with people, to a girl who would excitedly talk to people about the dog she was getting, something she never normally did.”

Lauren and Sam.jpg

Lauren and Sam

For 10 years Sam was by Lauren’s side, he would watch over her at night and was in her heart 24/7, filling her with confidence. When Sam retired, Lauren was partnered with Douglas, a handsome black Labrador, and her beloved Sam went back ‘home’ to live with ‘grandad’ Simon.

Today Lauren has this special message for Simon: “Happy Father’s Day Dad. I want to say thank you for filling in the application for me to get a hearing dog when I was nine years old. Who I am now is because of you.

“Getting a hearing dog was the best thing that ever could happen to me; my confidence has grown so much, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you and my dogs. Thank you for being in Sam’s life and now Douglas’, who also loves you to bits and enjoys coming round to see his ‘grandad’.”

Lauren and Douglas 1.jpg

Lauren and Douglas

Simon’s Father’s Day thoughts? “Lauren would not be the Lauren we all know and love without her hearing dogs: Sam and Douglas.

“They’ve each had such a major impact and influence on her life; Sam on her development as a child and growing into an adult, and Douglas who continues to fill Sam’s big pawprints so devotedly.

Simon, Lauren and Douglas

“Both Sam and Douglas are Lauren’s best friends and her emotional support. They’ve had an immeasurable impact on her mental health and wellbeing.

“Lauren simply wouldn’t be herself without her hearing dog now; that’s how important both Sam, Douglas and her future dogs are to us. Thank you to everyone involved in making this possible.”

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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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