Amelia was surrendered to the Vancouver SPCA earlier this year because she was deaf. Having purchased her online from Craigslist, her former owners did not know the husky-German shepherd puppy was deaf, and didn’t feel equipped to handle a deaf dog.
But her uniqueness only attracted her to Marisa Nielsen and fiancé Desmond Kumar when they stopped by the Vancouver BC SPCA Branch on a whim one day, and noticed the lovable white pup with one blue eye and one brown, now named Evie.
“We were actually excited to find out that Evie was deaf,” Nielsen says, noting that her parents are both deaf, and she and Kumar know sign language.
The playful puppy had already learned 15 signs within the first couple of months of being adopted, including focus, sit, lay down, stay, quiet, no, food/eat, water/drink, bed, walk and more.
“While other things are going on that might be more interesting, she’s always looking back at us to make sure we’re giving her the ‘thumbs up’ sign, which is her reward for doing something good,” Nielsen says.
With a mastiff fur-brother named Romeo and cat-brother Grayson to keep her company, Evie is thriving in her new family and growing fast. And she gets plenty of time with her grandparents.
“My parents have taken to Evie like a fish to water! It really is a joy to watch Evie communicate with the deaf community – she watched them sign to her like she understands. And sometimes I wonder if she does,” Nielsen says.
“I don’t think people should be tentative to adopt a deaf dog of any age,” Nielsen says. “It’s not a disability for them, it’s just life, and they relish it like any other dog.”
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.