Hi! I’m Cane. My story is of a lucky deaf dog and the village of people it took to get me to my forever home.
I was found in Savannah, GA, with barbed wire wrapped around my face! I was just a pup, under a year old, and everyone was pretty sure I was about to be used for bait, but I must have escaped just in time. Sadly I ended up in a shelter that condemned me to death because I’m a pit bull.
There’s a couple who regularly visited the Animal Control Shelter in Savannah, GA, to take donations to them. Early January 2010, the wife Penny saw two dogs on her way in and of course, she had to stop and pet them. One of them was me. She was told about how I was found and that I was available for adoption. She asked her husband Michael to meet me “just because.”
When they came back again, they noticed that I’d been moved to another cage closer to “death row.” Michael went almost every day to take me for a walk. The staff told them that if they sponsored my shots, I would be spared for 2 weeks. They readily agreed and the hunt was then on for a home for me. Michael happened to bump into friends who put him in contact with Kelley Schmidt from Coastal Pet Rescue.
Then my destruction date came… and they threw a Hail Mary; Kelley pulled me right before they were going to put me to sleep! And after having a few foster homes fall through, I ended up at Kelley’s house. She became my foster mom.
She set up a fenced in side yard for me with access to the garage, where I had my bed and lots of toys. She made me a Facebook page so she can provide updates to the network of people who cared for me. She read How to Train a Deaf Dog and learned a lot from DeafDogs.org. She taught me sign language. It was a new situation for her. She learned that she can’t be lazy and call me, she has to go to me. And she must be patient. She thought how many times had I been yelled at or beaten by my previous owner for not listening?
I would go to adoption events and even had a bandana stitched with I’M DEAF so that people would know to approach me gently. I was so excited about the world that I was quite out of control at events. Not the best behavior to get adopted.
Remember I said it took a village to find me a home? It took over a year to place me in a home. When Kelley moved to Atlanta, she took me but it was not easy to keep me so through Facebook, friends met friends and they established a network of people who could help. Kelley and the others pooled money to pay for me to be trained on a vibrating collar and learn basic commands through hand signals.
They worked so hard for me because they wanted to make me more adoptable. Patty introduced Kelley to Tony who became my foster dad. Everyone who met me loved me immediately. They also tag-teamed helping each other with my care. It takes a village and Facebook networking became so vital to my adoption.
I was shared by Cathy Miller, a wonderful rescuer of deaf dogs. Cathy, being deaf herself, understands the plight of the deaf dog and educates about how a deaf dog is really no different than a hearing dog.
That’s how my parents found me. My helpers had a video of me and a stuffed flower talking to me. It was love at first sight and fate. They had watched my Facebook page for four months. My Mom said that I was little and looked like a pup…and they decided they couldn’t live without me!
It is a perfect fit. They have a deaf dog, Gracie, have a home that could fit another big dog and have hearts big enough to love me for the rest of my life. On top of all of that, they also have children so I would have my own siblings, human and dog. A perfect full family.
Kelley made the decision that the family was perfect for me. She just knew.
So here’s the plan: Kelley’s friend Carol will be driving through Atlanta up to Michigan and right though the town my new family lives in. (Talk about FATE!) So Kelley took me to the vet to get shots and a heart worm test just for good measure. You can imagine her horror, sadness and confusion when the vet told her I was heartworm positive. How could this be?
I was negative when adopted and was on Heartgard every month. In the South, it is possible to contract heartworms even if the dogs are on preventative due to the high concentrate of mosquitoes. I could’ve been positive when I was rescued but it might’ve not shown up.
Kelley called Laura, my future mom, crying because she’s afraid the adoption wouldn’t happen. It didn’t matter; she told Kelley to send me on my way.
So on January 5, 2011, Carol and I got ready for my trip to my forever home. They gave me some Benadryl and put me in my spot — body in the back, head in the front, my big noggin’ resting on the armrest of front seat.
Kelley stood in the road waving goodbye. I looked out the back window. She knew she was doing the right thing, but one never gets used to saying goodbye. The car drove away and I settled back in my spot and fell asleep. They told me later that Kelley was the one falling apart, crying in the middle of the road.
It was a very, very long drive (10 hours!) because apparently, Indiana is a LONG way from Georgia! When we arrived, it was as if my parents always knew me. It was magic!
My Mommy is so proud that I absorbed up all the training: Kelley gave my parents the collar and remote. One buzz and I will come looking for her.
I’m now heartworm free and I can run and play with my doggy sister, Gracie, all I want! I usually beat her because she’s kind of lazy! BOL! My favorite thing to do is to SNUGGLE! I like to get in between my Mommy and Daddy while in bed or ON them when in a recliner! I just wants to be held, and LOVED!
Oh, I also goes crazy if I even sees my leash! Walk time! I LOVE walk time!!! People think I’m a goof. I’m scared of moving things (like the ceiling fans, the guitar) but I once tried to catch a fly by launching off the back of the couch.
People need to know we’re not monsters! We’re good dogs…just like any other dog!
p.s. Come say hi to me on my new Facebook page: Raising Cane!
Parent: Laura & Todd