"Rusty is my courage and my strength."

Thirty year old Sophie Biebuyck had a prosperous music career ahead of her before her hearing began to deteriorate. As her world gradually became silent, she lost her job, her dream of becoming a professional opera singer and moved back into her family home.

Unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Sophie applied for a hearing dog. She then met her new best friend - the joyful Cockerpoo Rusty - and her life has been 'turned upside down in the most positive way.'

Read Sophie's story and watch her video below. 

“I was on the brink of a music career when I went deaf”

“As a child I had various ear nose and throat problems. I was always told I would grow out of it. But as I got into my later teenage years, my hearing began to deteriorate. Since then my hearing has deteriorated further, so now I don’t have any understanding of music. It led to a lot of tears, and it was not an easy time.

“It became a very difficult question when people asked, ‘what do you do?’. I never really knew what to say, because in my heart I’m a musician.  In my heart I’m a singer. But now I can’t really do any of the things I used to do.

“The huge thing for my family to accept was me not performing anymore. Everyone was really proud of me and what I had achieved. I know they still are, they just haven’t got the opportunity to see my talents. That’s been really hard for everyone.

“Everything changed when Rusty came. My mood – how can you not be happy when you’ve got him to wake you up in the morning? I began to feel secure and safe in the knowledge that he will let me know what’s going on. His joy is contagious and he has given me that real fulfilment of life again.

“Rusty has become my positive focus. He has become my courage and my strength. He has changed my life in so many ways I would struggle to list them. From not being anxious to go to sleep at night – I sleep like a log now as I know he will wake me up in the morning to the alarm. I don’t have the same anxieties I had before I had him. I think something people underestimate is the effect they can have on your mental health – you can’t be sad when Rusty’s around. He is my best friend now.

“Rusty needs me to be around to look after him, and I need him to be around to look after me. It is just such a special partnership. Rusty is a life-changer because he has completely turned my world upside down in a really positive way.”

Watch Sophie and Rusty's video

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