Just before my husband moved to New Orleans last fall, he bought me a dog from the animal shelter. “Boston”, as he lovingly became known as, is a pit bull/lab/rhodesian ridgeback (without his ridge). I was living by myself in Austin for that semester. I didn’t have a flashing fire alarm like I should have and so he became my ears. If there was ever anything that I thought I heard, I would look to him and watch his movement – particularly the twitching of his ears. I always felt a little silly, but it really did make me feel better about a lot of things. Boston has not been trained to be a hearing dog, but the very fact that he’s a dog and can hear things I cannot, made me feel safer living in that apartment alone.
Those ears saved our lives. Within the first month of moving to New Orleans, my husband woke up to the dogs barking like crazy and making a lot of noise (he has a little border collie/cocker spaniel – Sophie) . My husband also has a hearing loss, though not quite as severe as mine, was able to hear enough to hear our dogs. He in turn woke me up, told me to get my hearing aid and glasses on. He peered out our bedroom door to the front door. The door was wide open and there was a man standing in our threshold. My husband got a metal bar and cautiously approached the man, who took off running. I don’t know how that door got opened or who that man was. But, that night we were really blessed to have our dogs. (and my husband too!)