A Day in my Life with a #Deaf #Dog

Judea loves looking out the front window watching for birds flying, wildlife crossing the yard, or squirrels running the porch banister. She waits with great anticipation to go out and run free.

Each day is made better because of the company and love of my #pets who I prefer to consider my four-legged family members. I also consider myself to be adopted by them and I often ask myself, "How much more like a child can she become?" Their unconditional love and acceptance are amazing gifts that enrich my life and their desire to spend all their time with me leave me never alone.

A typical day begins exactly at 7:05 AM with Judea gently jumping and placing her front paws on the edge of my bed directly facing me. Her tail wags with such enthusiasm that the vibration can be felt in the mattress, awakening me to her rhythmic "alarm clock." She peers into my eyes and touches her nose onto mine, and a whisper of a puppy kiss makes it impossible for me to resist her plea for me to get up and prepare breakfast.

With breakfast completed Judea is asked to clean up after herself by bringing her bowl to the sink for me--Good manners are, after all, a good thing for every "child" to learn! Playtime follows with a good, aerobic romp in the front yard. Judea has learned to entertain herself by chasing the birds or their shadows that are cast from overhead and she makes it a competition of who can outrun or fly the fastest.

Worn out (a tired dog is a good dog) she comes running to the house upon the ASL sign for come and enjoys a long drink of water and a rewarding cookie. Praise and reward are two of her favorite things and she seems to beam from ear to ear with a big canine smile. Her entire body continues to wiggle around my legs as I give her a good rubdown and ear scratch. Naptime, then added playtime, more napping, taking a walk to visit our neighboring horse, Mistrel, . . . . fill the day with wonderful moments of pure and simple joy--the best kind of happiness for me.

Since the passing of my devoted service dog, Clarence, in January, Judea is beginning to go places with me. I miss the constant companionship when I go out so Judea is being trained to take his place, at least in part. Much to my hubby's amazement and pleasure, she is stellar in her behavior.

As the evening approaches and the colder temperatures chill the air, Judea finds the warmest spot in the house directly in front of the wood-burning stove. She stays there for the remainder of the evening and enjoys the stream of warm air that comes from the stove's fan and could melt a tray of ice cubes in less than a minute. Another of her favorite things.

At the end of the day, I sign "bed" and Judea bounds to the bedroom where she quickly jumps upon the mattress of our king-sized bed. She usually waits patiently until I join her when she begins to put herself to sleep. Her routine is to tuck herself in by lifting up the top edge of the blankets with her nose and then burying her way to the bottom of the bed. Once she finds the perfect place and position, she places her body against my legs and rests her head on my ankles.

This is just a glimpse of a day with Judea, my 6 1/2 year-old, deaf, Dalmatian. Every day is a bit different than the other but the #love, #faithfulness, dedication, and joy are steadfast.

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