Hey everyone! My name is Opal. I’m an American Bulldog mix and I’m deaf, just like my sisters, but that doesn’t stop me!
I can do anything a hearing dog can do. I love to snuggle on the sofa and sit too close when you have food! I come when I’m called but that’s not too much of a problem because I don’t let my humans out of my sight. I think that’s something that all deaf dogs have in common: We don’t like waking up in a room where there were people and now there are none. I get scared when I can’t find my humans!
I got my family in September 2011 and I couldn’t be happier! I was in the Gwinnett County, GA, Animal Shelter and had been there about two weeks when my Mommy and ALL of my sisters came down to adopt me.
One of the Animal Control officers has a soft spot for deaf dogs in his heart and he kept me away from the PTS list until I could be adopted. He is hard of hearing and his wife is deaf. They teach American Sign Language at the local college so I was really lucky to have come to this shelter. Luckily he was friends with a great dog advocate on Facebook and she put me on there. Daddy saw me and put me on Mommy’s page.
Mommy fell in love with me when she saw me and after a phone call to the shelter, Mommy drove to Georgia AT NIGHT to get to the shelter in the morning to meet me! I was really skinny, I’ve had at least two litters and I think people were using my puppies as bait dogs for fighting. Sometimes I miss my puppies and I hope they’re okay.
I met my Mommy and I loved her when I saw her, just like I loved my sisters. I was shy at first but I always wagged my tail and Mommy called me “wiggle butt.” Mommy adopted me on the spot and then we were on the way to my forever home!
I didn’t have a name when I was at the shelter and someone on Facebook started calling me “Gwinnett.” But when Mommy saw me, she named me Opal. On the way home, my sisters told me about everyone in the family including Daddy. I was scared about meeting this Daddy person because my sisters said he’s loud so I thought he was mean, but when I met him, I knew he wasn’t mean! He’s just a big softie and loves us all! Daddy calls me “Itty Bitty Pitty”!
A few days after getting home I went to the vet for a check up and the vet told Mommy and Daddy that I had heartworms. I didn’t know what that was. Mommy and Daddy looked worried, but the vet said that I would be okay — the x-ray showed the worms aren’t that bad. The vet gave me heartworm preventive and antibiotics (we weren’t going to use the vaccine even if the vet had it because the vet says sometimes doggies die because the worms die too fast and we can choke on them). The vet said I had to stay quiet, calm and not go on any long walks or dog parks while I was being treated and I’m doing all of that the best I can.
When I first got to my new house, I slept a lot — I think it’s because I was able to relax and I knew I wouldn’t get hurt. Now I’m coming out of my shell and since I’m feeling better, I run and play with my sisters even though I’m supposed to keep calm. (I can’t help it!)
Even though I’m the newest doggie, I’m the oldest at about three years old and I have to let them know who’s boss. I tell my sisters where my place is — I growl a bit when they get too close. At first, I had to bark at them but now they know my personal space and no one can get too close when I’m snuggling with Mommy and Daddy! I love them all and they all love me…even when I growl at them when I’m snuggling.
I was really skinny when I came home: I weighed about 25 pounds and you could see my ribs and spine! Since coming home, I’ve gained a few pounds and my coat is shiny and soft. Like my sisters, every time I get a bath I seem to get more spots! Nea gets her spots on her fur but I get my spots on my skin like Pickles.
Daddy makes our dog food out of raw chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green beans and kale. He adds extra vitamins and egg shells to make us grow big and strong. Isn’t my Daddy nice?
Daddy just have a soft spot for misfits like me and my sisters. I’m really glad I’ve found my family and I love them very much. I’ll never forget the day I left the shelter for what I know will be the last time ever!