Deaf Child Teaches Dog to Sign

The most heart-warming situation in the world is the love between a dog and their human.

A young 10-year-old girl named Julia was born deaf. She had to learn sign language to be able to communicate with the world. Walter is an adorable little pup looking for a home. Abandoned by his human family, Walter was found and brought to the Pasadena Humane Society. Julia and Walter, a chihuahua-terrier mix, had no idea that they would soon meet their best friend.

The Human Society put out an advertisement on Facebook once Walter was old enough to be adopted. Julia’s family saw the advertisement as well as the perfect opportunity to add to their family. It turned out that Walter was deaf, too, and in desperate need of a loving family.

The match was perfect. Julia’s mother knew from the first meeting that Walter was the one. When Julia was born, Julia’s mom connected with her by placing Julia’s face on her shoulder to smell her neck. Due to her hearing impairment, it was the only way to convey communication. Walter did the same thing when Julia’s mother first held him in her arms.

“They’re the same,” said Julia’s mother.

Julia has begun to teach Walter to sign. A video was posted on the Pasadena Humane Society’s Facebook wall. In the video, Julia teaches Walter commands for :”food”, “sit”, and “water” – all the basic commands that hearing dogs learn in their first few obedience training sessions.

Within a week of posting, the feedback has been overwhelming. Jamie Holeman, a spokesperson for the Human Society, remarked that the deaf community has been responding positively to the story about Julia and Walter. In fact, people from all over the world are detailing their stories about their own friendships with the hearing impaired animals.

With a little more training, Walter is sure to learn more commands. Meanwhile, the bond between Julia and Walter continues to make the world smile.