Loss of hearing is a common effect of aging in dogs, as it is in humans. While hearing aids for dogs are available, they are expensive and frequently rejected by dogs who dislike anything stuck in their ears.
Some dog trainers suggest training a dog from the start to respond to both hand and audio signals. Because dogs are visual and read body language as well as the signal itself, they take quickly to learning sign language cues.
When Lucy, a 13-year-old Yellow Lab, was going deaf, author and psychologist Rob Pasick wondered what she was listening to instead. He speculated in the poem “Hearing Loss” from his book, Conversations With My Old Dog:
“To be deaf—such a loss in May. No Mourning Doves singing. No frogs croaking. No gentle rain falling.
“Knowing you, Lu, maybe you’ve discovered new sounds.
“Can you now hear trees bud?
“Perhaps you hear the heartbeat of God.”
Conversations With My Old Dog is a collection of thoughts and lessons gleaned from Rob’s last few months with Lucy, as he watched her play when she was energetic enough, rest when she wasn’t and continue to love everyone she came in contact with anyway.
Rob’s book makes a lovely addition to any dog lover’s library and a comforting gift to anyone whose dog is aging or has recently passed away. Conversations With My Old Dog can be purchased through this website or through Amazon.com.