For one little puppy, the first 7 months of his life were full of confusion. Ivor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was moved from shelter to shelter. In just one year, the poor puppy had five different owners.
Every time he started to settle into a home he would be kicked out again. No family wanted him as they believed he was stubborn and disobedient. People claimed that there was something wrong with him and that he couldn’t hear anything.
By the end of 2017, Ivor had, unfortunately, entered the RSPCA’s system for sheltering animals once again. This was the 5th time he had lost a family he hoped would be his forever home.
Every single one of Ivor’s owners said that he was too loud and he wouldn’t stop barking. Because of the numerous homes Ivor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had been removed from, the shelter wanted to investigate more directly.
Ivor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier had a disability that nobody had discovered
After Ivor’s 5th family returned him to the shelter, the RSCPA decided to investigate. For a breeder with several puppies, it can become difficult to learn each puppies needs. Sadly, nobody had noticed that Ivor was deaf.
When the volunteers tested Ivor’s hearing, they learnt straight away why he was struggling to fit into a normal household. Ivor couldn’t hear anything!
Ivor’s previous owner hadn’t realised he was deaf, in fact, none of his previous owners had realised.
Thankfully, the animal shelter learnt about Ivor’s disability and they began to learn sign language to communicate with Ivor
In fact, Ivor was a pretty quick learner. The yearning for conversation and affection must have driven this lovable pup to push harder to understand.
At first, the trainers built up trust with Ivor then they introduced him to the basic commands.
Shortly after, Ivor had been put up for adoption once more. Thankfully, he met a loving human called Ellie Bromilow. Ellie and Ivor bonded instantly, furthermore, it was only a matter of time before Ellie adopted Ivor into her home.
The RSPCA had already taught Ivor a handful of commands, but Ellie was keen to educate Ivor even further!
Ellie’s mission was to help Ivor discover everything he’d missed out on in the other homes he’d lived in.
“He’d already learned the sign command for “sit” and “come” from the staff at the RSPCA centre, but now he knows lots more like “lie down”, “stay”, “all gone” and he’s learning “roll over”,”
It turns out that Ivor is a very intelligent dog, he just needed to approach the world from a different angle. Because of his disability, Ivor’s sense of sight, smell and touch are greatly enhanced.
Ivor loves using his strong sense of smell to chase down things his owner has hidden around the house. On Ivor’s Facebook page, there’s a post that reads:
“While other dogs may miss things, my eyes are trained to observe everything. Even when I sleep, I see all, I feel the vibration of doors and footsteps and can sniff a piece of ham from a mile away,”
But Ivor’s favourite thing is having a nap
After a long day of adventures with Ellie, Ivor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier loves hopping into bed and relaxing with his loving human.
Ivor loves spending time with Ellie and communicating with her. He watches everything around him and knows when somebody is trying to talk.
“Having a deaf dog is just like having a hearing dog. We still speak to him as we sign and I chat to him a lot – even though he can’t hear a word,”
Sure, living with a deaf dog can be tough, but if you’re as loving as Ellie is, it can be the biggest reward of all.
We’re so happy that Ivor the Staffordshire Bull Terrier finally found a forever home. Have you ever looked after a dog with disabilities? At Happiest we love hearing all of your opinions. So please let us know what you thought of the article in the comment section below. 🐝