Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Fourteen-year-old Maya, a Jack Russell Terrier, obeys her owner well, although she has never heard one of her commands.

Maya can’t hear anything – but she does understand sign language.

Joanne Sparkman, of Gladwin, Michigan realized Maya was deaf when she was about four months old. Maya doesn’t miss a beat, though.

Sparkman and Maya have communicated through signing for the past 14 years.

“She learned sign language and she knows her commands,” Sparkman said.

When Sparkman and her husband, Matthew, suspected Maya was deaf, they tried yelling and making loud noises while Maya was turned away from them. The dog never flinched. They took her to the vet, and sure enough, Maya was diagnosed as hearing impaired.

Looking for a solution, Sparkman got the book, “Living with a Deaf Dog,” by Susan Cope Becker. Through the book, she taught Maya sign language and learned tips on how to give her a high-quality life.

“I knew it was doable,” Sparkman said of teaching Maya sign language.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *