My Story

Every rescue animal has their own story to tell, and mine is rather remarkable.

It starts in November 2014 when I was found abandoned on the streets of London, terrified and confused. I was just two years old.

I was taken to a council pound and given seven days to be reclaimed but nobody came for me. Most dogs are put to sleep once their seven days are up, but thankfully, The Mayhew Animal Home stepped in to offer me shelter.

Here, I was microchipped, neutered, and put up for adoption. However, the kennel staff at The Mayhew quickly noticed that I wasn't like the other dogs waiting to be rehomed. In the mornings, they would come into my kennel, calling my name, but I wouldn't wake up - even when they had my breakfast in tow!

I was sent to The Mayhew's in-house veterinary clinic where I took part in a number of hearing tests. Then, the vets confirmed the news that nobody wanted to hear: I am deaf.

The Adoption Officers knew this would be catastrophic for me. Staffies struggle to find homes because we're unfairly tarnished with a bad reputation, and being deaf was only going to make my chances at finding a new family harder.

Most dogs are given a second chance within weeks - I waited nine months.

I'd get so excited every time a family entered the The Mayhew; I'd spring up to the kennel door, tail wagging...but then I'd realise they were going to see another dog and my tail would stop as I flopped down into my bed.

My skin was itchy and sore, and my coat was bare in parts. This was partly due to stress, but the vets suspected it was more than that, so they sent me off for allergy testing. The list of allergens that came back was extensive, including trees, grass, and a long list of foods. Once again, the Adoption Officers had to watch as my chances of being rehomed became bleaker and bleaker.

That's when the kennel staff and volunteers taught me sign language.

I loved it! Finally, I could make sense of the world I had always felt so lost in. It enabled me to build relationships with people, and as many staffie parents will know, human affection is our favourite thing ever.
Me learning sign language at The Mayhew Animal Home

The marketing team at The Mayhew secured me with national press coverage and built major social media campaigns around me, but still, I couldn't find a home.

Then, one day in August, a couple came to visit me!

I was asleep when Josanne and Richard first came to see me, and of course, I didn't hear them come in. I was sharing a kennel with a staffie puppy called Nugget at the time, and she actually nudged me awake to tell me I had visitors!

I was so excited! I ran over to them and we went to spend some time in the sensory garden together where they gave me lots of back scratches and I gave them lots of hugs and kisses.

They loved me instantly but there was one potential setback: they lived with a house rabbit called Munch.

The next step was for me to meet Munch. So several days later, Lisa Guiney, the Dog Adoption Officer at The Mayhew, took me on a trip to their house. Everyone was worried that a dog and a rabbit couldn't get along, but of course we did, I get on with everybody! Plus Munch is super cool and confident as he's lived his whole life around staffies.

And that's when my story really begins.
Me on the day I was adopted with Richard and Mayhew kennel staff Eric, Josh, and Janet. They're all giving me the Thumbs Up sign, which means 'good boy' in Doggy Sign Language!

On the 4th of August 2015, Josanne and Richard adopted me. I'm so comfortable and happy here; we spend long days in the park, cosy nights cuddled up on the sofa, and we've already made so many incredible memories together.

My deafness and allergies never hold me back. I live like any other dog. So please, next time you adopt, do consider the needier animals desperately waiting for their forever home.

Photo Credit: Bonnie Baker at Bonnie Baker Rescue and Pet Photography.

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