Hearing dogs for people with profound hearing loss


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Guide dogs for the blind are very well known but companion dogs for the hard-of-hearing are far less so. InsideHalton reports on how hearing dogs can help those with hearing loss.

John Crozier from Burlington, Ontario, says that his hearing steadily declined over a period of at least 30 years, but that in the last 5 years, it deteriorated much more rapidly. After a few minor incidents, such as not hearing his wife who was locked outside all night after forgetting her keys, or almost stepping out in front of a moving car in a parking lot, Crozier realized that more dangerous situations where he was not altered to a danger could have serious or even life-threatening consequences. Specific problems could be not hearing a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector, for instance. He and his wife therefore decided to apply for a hearing ear dog.

They were delighted when they received a call about a year later to tell them that their application had been approved. Crozier was given the opportunity to foster a white Labrador cross retriever, specially trained to help people with profound hearing loss.

The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides provides dogs to people with disabilities free of charge. According to the report, it costs CAD 25,000 to train and place each dog. Outdoors, hearing dogs are trained to help with mobility and to alert their masters to hazards, and indoors, to respond to sounds like an alarm clock, telephone, or doorbell, but also importantly to a smoke alarm or other warning system, and to direct the person to where the sound is coming from.

Source: InsideHalton.com