Alice, a black and white springer spaniel, was dumped by a breeder in Ireland because they did not want her when they found out she was deaf. The puppy was just eight weeks old when she was taken in by the Blue Cross animal charity.
Staff at the Lewknor, Oxfordshire location worried that Alice may not be adopted because she would not be able to respond to a verbal commands and a person’s calls. But Alice ended up being rescued by Marie Williams and her partner Mark Morgan, who are deaf themselves.
When they spotted Alice on The Blue Cross website they knew she would be the perfect pet for them. The Essex couple had been thinking about getting a dog, but when they saw Alice was deaf they couldn’t believe it.
“She was so beautiful and the fact that she was deaf just made us fall in love with her even more – we knew that she would fit right into our family,” said Marie. “When we went to visit her at the centre I had tears in my eye, because she was so cute and we bonded straight away.”
The little puppy with one blue eye started her training using sign language. And within a short time Alice has learned non-verbal commands including how to sit down, sit up, come and roll over.
Marie said: “I feel so angry that someone abandoned her because in their eyes she was not ‘perfect’. It goes to show with a little effort a puppy who cannot hear can thrive and learn. Alice has already learned the signs for several basic commands. Marie added, “I want everyone to see how well we have bonded to Alice and how well she is getting on – she is so special to us.”