Suffolk Dog Day Best Rescue Winner's story
Suffolk Dog Day 2016
Winner of the Best Rescue - Class Sponsored and Judged by Christchurch Veterinary Referrals
Harry with his owner Karen and Judge Shane Morrison
Karen tells us Harry's story:
Harry is a 3 year old rescue Sealyham Terrier and was born totally deaf. We got Harry when he was 12 weeks old, the only puppy in a litter of five to be deaf. He'd been passed over several times due to his deafness even though they are such a rare breed. Sealyhams are a Welsh terrier breed which were once very popular, being owned by the Royal Family and numerous Hollywood stars. They even made a cameo appearance in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Sadly, they seemed to go out of 'fashion' and the number of working dogs dropped, resulting in them recently being described as 'rarer than the giant panda'.
Harry was unwanted by the breeder as he would damage her reputation and if we had not rescued him we got the impression he wouldn't be here today.
Before taking Harry on we sought advice from our vets and The Deaf Dog Network (a charity which supports deaf dogs and their owners) so that we knew what we were taking on and that we were doing the right thing for Harry.
We have never regretted our decision (well, OK, except for day 5 when he started to chew the furniture, but he soon stopped once we trained him not to, plus that was one of the delights of owning a puppy, nothing to do with his lack of hearing). He has a fantastic personality and temperament and is a real character.
We have taught him hand signals and he currently has a repertoire of over 25 different signs which he understands, he has also learnt that when he is naughty if he doesn't look at us he can't see us telling him off!
For anyone looking for a dog, firstly we would always recommend a rescue dog (never a puppy farm), would have no issues suggesting a deaf dog (there is lots of support and guidance available from other owners and charities) and would certainly encourage anyone to find out more about the Sealyham breed and help to try to stop them disappearing completely.