In February 2014, a feisty little deaf puppy came into the rescue just as our family was grieving the sudden loss of our beloved best buddy and foster big brother. I wasn’t ready to take in another yet, but (1) this little one needed help and (2) he was named for my sweet old guy who absolutely LOVED taking care of the babies. Of course I drove to the shelter to spring “Major Price” to freedom. He was thin, sunburned, really did not care for being touched and at 11 weeks would completely panic over having his collar restrained. Fortunately for him, we were also fostering another female – a kindred healing spirit who had learned from the original Major how to take this baby under her wing and show him that life was good here, there was nothing to fear anymore and he was safe. Over the next few weeks we worked on starting sign language, potty training, manners, desensitized him to touch and got him over his crate anxiety. He was ready for a forever home, and we tried diligently to find just the right one … but as it turned out, he already *was* home.
In April, he officially joined our family as Oliver von Wigglebutt and transitioned from being a foster to being the resident puppy – and what better way to grow up balanced and well socialized than having a rotating cast of foster friends coming for extended play dates! In his young life he has been a pesky but sweet and loving little brother to 9 fosters and served as an ambassador for ABR at some of the many public events we participate in. He has grown into a calm, confident and handsome big boy who is a champion snuggler and the sweetest, most attentive companion. Oliver’s an old soul and has a knack for knowing when to turn on the puppy wiggle and when to flip the switch to extra gentle. Everywhere we go, we try to spread awareness of the work the rescue does for this wonderful breed and change perceptions about deaf dogs.
We are so proud and excited to share that he is ready to launch his next chapter: therapy dog! After the long wait to reach 1 year of age to be eligible, Oliver has passed his Canine Good Citizen test and has earned his therapy dog certification with Wags Across Texas. “Team Oliver” will be working wherever we are needed, most likely with kids as that’s the type of work he told me he’s chosen. We will also be a READ certified team, visiting schools or libraries to help reluctant young readers discover the joy of reading to a cuddly and nonjudgmental friend. He may be deaf, but deaf dogs hear with their hearts!
If Oliver could talk, he would say Thank You to the shelter who notified ABR that he was in need of rescue. If he could talk, he’d say Thank You, ABR for his new life! He’d also throw in a plug for fostering and volunteering, of course. 🙂 And if Oliver could talk, he would tell people that if you give deaf dogs half a chance, they can accomplish AMAZING things. From Day 1 he’s been an absolute blessing in our lives and we look forward to paying that forward a thousand times over.
Thank you ABR,
Oliver von Wigglebutt and the Price family.