This is Hush, Echo’s resident deaf puppy. She’s the fur baby of our founder, Danielle.
Hush is an 18-month old Blue Heeler and she’s been deaf from birth. She’s been trained with hand signals, understands basic sign language and is fiercely protective of her mum. Hush was trained at The Alpha Canine Centre, where they cater puppy training classes to deaf dogs.
“One of the trainers there has a deaf dog, and so lots of people will train their deaf dogs there,” says Danielle.
Hush loves other dogs, especially her big brother, Neo, a two-year old Border Collie cross Blue Heeler. “She follows Neo everywhere, and copies everything he does. She even sleeps with one paw resting on him so if he gets up she knows about it,” Dan says.
Hush doesn’t let her deafness get in her way, and she’s one of the most fearless dogs around. She’s never scared of other dogs, and she’s always curious about them when they’re at the park. Danielle describes her as “a free spirit, she forces you to like her”.
When asked about what makes Hush different from hearing dogs, Danielle says that Hush will regularly check in with her at the dog park. Using hand signals, Danielle can communicate with Hush across long distances, and the deaf puppy knows that when mum puts her hands straight up in the air, it’s time to come back.
Danielle also owns a few cats, and Hush takes after them in many ways.
“She’ll sit on the back of the couch like the cats, thinking that it’s normal behaviour for a dog, and she’s incredibly gentle with them”.
Hush is naturally enthusiastic and full of energy, and understands a range of signs that Danielle uses with her, but it’s her quirky personality that truly sets her apart from other dogs; “She’s really unique, she’s just a different dog”.
Hush is usually busy brightening the lives of her animal companions, but the office is always a hoot when she finds time in her schedule to come and visit us.
If you have any stories or photos of your deaf pets you’d like to share, shoot us a message on Facebook or at info@echointerpreting.