Kevin H. Franck, Ph.D
Chair of the HLAA Board of Directors.
I had a dog named Lily – a cockapoo (though in Australia they’d call her a spoodle). She passed away recently. Like many of you who have pets, I think she was the best pet ever.
Lily lived just over 15 years and was a healthy dog her whole life. She lost her hearing a few years ago. She had no risk factors for hearing loss – no ototoxic drugs, no rock concerts, no motorcycle riding. She just lost her hearing just as many people do as they get older.
I found it fascinating to witness how she learned to live with her hearing loss. Before she lost her hearing, she’d sleep on a couch somewhere in the house but would meet us at the door when we came home because she heard us coming. I swear she expressed embarrassment when we’d wake her from her nap when we came in unalerted. So, she moved her perch to where she could see us walk in. She’d no longer get excited when I’d say, “want to go out??” (because of the cookie when she’d come back in). So, she learned to have the same excitement to an arm wave. She used to get freaked out when other dogs barked at her on walks and would escalate the situation. Not sensing this aggression with her hearing loss, her calmness cooled the situation and after a proper greeting both were on their way. I think she also learned to use the cues of a couple of cats we later acquired, but I doubt she would have ever admitted to that.
I’ll miss Lily the dog for a long time.
Hear Well. Stay Vital. Get your hearing checked today!.
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