Friday, June 27, 2008

Hearing Ear Dogs?

Our dogs!
I haven't posted any pictures of our dogs in a while and thought I would do one tonight. Right now we have three black German Shepherds in the house! The picture below was taken about a month ago when I took all three of them for a walk. They really are good. . . and walk too slow sometimes. I need a whip or something to get them going! I have a leash that will hold two dogs at once and walk the third one on a single leash. The one on the red leash is Riga, my dog, and she is 5 1/2 years old. The two behind her are her puppies that we kept from her litter last year. The one on the left is Leon, who belongs to Brad and the one on his right is Gus, who belongs to Chris. Brad just graduated from Virginia Tech and has started a new job in Connecticut and we are "dog-sitting" for Leon until August (after Brad gets settled and gets married to his sweetheart, Caitlyn!) Chris lives at home with us so Gus is part of the package. Gus is so loyal to Chris and waits in the driveway every day for him to come home. Chris takes him everywhere with him when he is not working and they are best buddies.
This picture is Gus. He is the tallest of the three dogs and looks "serious" when you talk to him! If you click here, you can read "his adoption story."The next picture is Leon and Riga. Leon is in the back and Riga is the one with the red collar. Brad is missing his dog and asked me to post a picture on my blog. Leon was the runt of Riga's litter last year and almost didn't make it. He is a sweet dog and is just so lovable. Our dogs are not trained to be "hearing ear dogs" but they instinctively know that they need to be my "ears" for me. Riga senses "danger" long before it arrives and is terribly afraid of thunderstorms. She gets very nervous and clings as close as she can to me at least a half an hour or so before a storm arrives. She also HATES fireworks and gunshots. She also lets me know when someone is at the door or wakes me up in the mornings. She'll stand at the door and bark if she wants to come in. Also, if I see her ears "perk up," I know that she "hears" something - it might be someone walking by the house or a car pulling in the driveway. And she always greets me at the door when I come home! Even though I can hear with my CI's, I feel safer having a dog. (And no one will mess with me if I'm walking three German Shepherds!)

Last week while I was working in my home office, Riga crawled under my desk and started shaking. The sun was shining and there weren't any clouds in the sky. And weather forecast didn't say anything about storms on the way. I was confused and couldn't figure out what she was so upset about. But, I needed to go to the bank and run some errands and gathered my purse and stuff. As soon as I stepped outside, I smelled gas! And Riga was letting me know that something was wrong. In hindsight, I wondered if she heard a boom or unusual sound when the gas line was ruptured. Just as I started to go inside to call the gas company, I saw a man walking around in our yard waving a hand meter in his hand. I asked him what was going on and he said that some workers down the street had accidentally cut a gas line and told me to go inside. He told me not to start my car or anything. I could see several fire trucks and emergency vehicles and no one could go in or out of our neighborhood for several hours. So, I brought the dogs back inside and gave Riga a treat for being so good! (Gus & Leon got one, too!)


Sam said...

Dogs are incredible aren;t they!?

Mum and Dad's dog and I once went for a walk out in the country and she suddenly sat down in the middle of the road and looked at me as if to say "there's a car coming, why aren't you telling me to come to heel?!"

Laurie said...

I agree! They seem to "know" without being taught anything special.

Karen said...

Laurie that is an amazing story about your dog! I wonder if he did hear the gas line break? Jason wants a German Shepherd so badly! Our house isn't big enough. Plus the dog we have now is "special" I think he was abuse before we adopted him. He isn't the smartest dog alive but I love him so much! He is my ears sometimes but not like your dog! I'm glad you posted the pics. I LOVE DOGS!

Abbie said...

That is an amazing story! All three of your dogs are beautiful! Dogs never cease me to amaze me when they go to the lengths to alert you. All they want is love and affections and all the cookies they could eat :)