Extra Love Needed: Meet Whiskey the Deaf Therapy Dog
How old are you?
I am 5 yrs old
Where did your name come from?
Because of my colors and I was so filthy when they found me, my buddy said I look like a disregarded empty bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey on the side of the road
Were you born deaf or did something happen to make you deaf?
I was born deaf, due to irresponsible breeders
How long did it take for you to learn hand signals?
Not long, my new home already had a deaf dog here, so when in doubt, I just did what she did, she was a great teacher for me, her name was Patience, she was in a book and won Petsmart Charities first ever contest for Most Magnificent Rescue Dog in North America
Do you live with any other fursiblings?
My first friend was Patience, about a year and half ago they needed a therapy dog in heaven so she grew some wings and left us, but she taught me well and I know she is proud of me, we have a cat named Buster, he was left on our porch a couple of months after I came, he was just a kitten and he’s still about half feral, but he likes me, then last year my people were fostering a deaf mini-aussie for Deaf Dogs of Oregon, but when it came to leave, they let her stay, she’s also learning to be a therapy dog like me, her name is Izzy.
How long are your visits as a therapy dog?
They are usually around and hour and half to two hours, sometime we do events like Special Olympics were I’m there all day.
I saw you volunteer at 7 different places, that’s amazing. Can you tell me a bit about them?
1. The Children’s Center is a rehab hospital for children with spine and brain injuries and congenital and developed disabilities, I work with the OT and help the kids
2. JD McCarty Center, its a school for children with developed disabilities and we help the OT their too.
3. West Moore High School, it has the largest Special Ed Dept. in the state. I go and visit with my friends who can’t walk and lay on the mats next to them, then I go to the autistic class and they take me for walks around the school, and after that I do P.E. or gym with the 2 high functioning classes, its a blast.
4. The Toby Keith Foundations “Kids Koral “, its a place for children undergoing cancer treatment and they families to stay and its free, their they take of my leash, give my little cowboy and cowgirl friends a bag of balls, some Frisbee, and bubbles, I love to chase bubbles, and for 2 hours we just play.
5. The Dale Rogers Center, it was started by Roy Rogers, its a place for adults with disabilities are trained and hired to go back into the work force, I visit one of there special groups and some of the other worker came and visit with us too.
6. The Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled, we call this place our home, its a place for adult with disabilities to stay during the day so there families can work and help support them, we do Special Olympic with them, and that’s were I trained to become a therapy dog.
7. Bridge Creek Veterans Reading Program, we live in a small rural community outside OKC, our school system has a program for 1st graders helping them learn to read, my buddy thinks its important for me to visit with children who aren’t sick and hurt too.
What has been the best reaction you’ve gotten from people?
When I work with the small children who are hurt, sometimes something small is really big, but most people can’t believe I’m deaf or that I was found at the dog pound.
What would you or your parents like to say to people who are worried about adopting a deaf dog or any pet that may need extra love & care?
DEAF DOGS ROCK, I’m just like any other dog, once you learn and become part of the family, its all about body language, I know dogs who can hear and don’t know a thing. but I really don’t think my people know were deaf, because you can tell their talking to us all the time, we just don’t have the heart to tell them we can’t hear.
Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
I would like to add one thing, to all the people who didn’t want me, mistreated me and dropped my at the pound twice, because you thought I was dumb and couldn’t learn because I was deaf. I could learn, but you were just incapable of teaching me, but someone did teach me and I did learn and now I am a therapy dog, that does work for the Toby Keith Foundation, so from one of my friend’s songs ” HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW!!”
This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Patience, who taught me so much. We love & miss you.
Author’s Note: Many thanks to Whiskey for answering the questions, you can follow him on his Facebook Page – Whiskey the Deaf Therapy Dog . Pictures were used with permission. This article is a part of the Extra Love Needed theme, please click on the badge below for more articles on pets that need extra love & care.