You may recall in my recent Pup Aid post, I mentioned the inspiring work of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as well as their upcoming Late Summer Show occurring in September. Well guess what?!! We went along to see what it was all about, learn a little more about the work they do and share it all with you!! Ted came along for the ride as he didn’t want to miss out and good job too, as it was a fantastic day with lots of beautiful (and may I add talented) dogs as well many enthusiastic people. The sun even came out to play! Come and join us today to find out who we met and more about the incredible way dogs can help us humans, this time via Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
FUN IN THE SUN
The event was held within the grounds of the Centre of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, which is located in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire. We arrived around lunchtime and there was already a big crowd; all eager to get in and experience the day (as we were!!) There were two arenas which featured dogs shows, demonstrations and even a tug of war; plenty of fun for all the family! There were also various stalls selling great gifts (perfect with, dare I say, Christmas looming!!) and raffles with also several fantastic bands performing for the crowd while they all enjoyed their well earned lunch from the numerous food stalls (our goats cheese and spinach crepe was delicious in the sunshine!)
As we walked around we met numerous Hearing Dogs who were either working, retired and even in training! As with most assistance dogs, we knew which were working by their distinctive jackets (in this case a lovely burgundy colour!) and labels on their leads.
This pair below were Hearing Dogs in training (Iggy on the left and Poppy on the right). They were luckily in very experienced hands as their handlers had been volunteers for 15 and 18 years! Inspirational dedication! Hearing Dogs for Deaf People are always on the look out for more volunteers though, including puppy socialisers, so if you if you think you could help out, details are listed at the end of this post. You know you want too!! Who could resist looking at those faces for a few months?! It also means you’re helping give back to the wider community. Brilliant!
We also met current and retired Hearing Dogs, Bass and Jet (named as he was once jet black, but those pesky greys which affect us all have decided to show themselves!) Bass was enjoying his relatively new role and made it known if he wasn’t getting enough attention while we stopped for a chat (Ted is exactly the same!) One thing that was clear to see is the joy they bring to their owner, Jocelyn, who has benefited from a Hearing Dog for 20 years.
Back to the arena and we were treated with a number of displays from members of Hearing Dogs. One of the first we saw were some rather energetic races between a number of the dogs. Lots of fun and excitement from not only the crowd but the dogs too. It was lovely to see everyone enjoying themselves and let their hair down. Whilst these dogs have a job to do, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun and the event showcased this beautifully. It was also great to not only have a compere using a microphone but also see the use of sign language within the arena. This was evident actually as we walked around the event (unsurprisingly) and made me wonder how easy it is to learn. If you feel the same, you can find out details of how to learn at the end of this post.
We were also treated with a fabulous display showing the ways in which hearing dogs actually help their handlers. This was cleverly explained by showing a ‘day in the life’ of a Hearing Dog and their handler e.g a handler meeting their friends in a coffee shop and a fire alarm goes off. How does your dog help you? Another example showed what happens if a handler’s friend is visiting the home and feels unwell but the handler is located in the kitchen so is unable to hear. In each of these situations, as well as others, the dogs are carefully trained to interact with their handler and alert them depending on what they’re reacting to (e.g. a phone ringing, a knock at the door etc) It was extremely impressive to see!
OUT & ABOUT ON SITE
As the event was located on site, we were all lucky enough to see some of the facilities at the Centre, where weekly training sessions take place with the dogs and their volunteer puppy socialisers. Not only are there outside areas with lots of fun accessories which the dogs can not only play with but also learn from, but there are even training houses to help them replicate what they learn within a real home set up. So impressive.
A FANTASTIC DAY
We had such a brilliant day and not only learnt a lot but had lots of fun at the same time. I’m certain everyone else who came along felt the same! As with so many charities out there, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is the same in that it depends heavily on donations and volunteers. If you can’t personally help as a puppy socialiser, did you know you can sponsor a puppy instead? The hard decision is choosing which one though! You can find details about this (great gift idea!) as well as more information about the fabulous Hearing Dogs for Deaf People below. In the meantime, it goes without saying that these dogs are extremely special and dedicated to the work they do (as are the socialisers and trainers) and they go on to help so many of us. The number of people at the event illustrated perfectly how well regarded these incredible creatures are and hopefully you feel the same, even if you weren’t lucky enough to come and join us at the event. WELL DONE to the brilliant Hearing Dogs for Deaf People for a great event. We cant wait until next year!!