Gordon, our deaf Staffie, has finally been adopted by a firefighter after being taught sign language during his long stay at The Mayhew. Two-year-old Gordon was found abandoned, scared and confused on the streets of Brent in November 2014. He was one of our longest staying residents.
Gordon was deaf
Staff noticed that when they went into his kennel in the morning he wouldn’t wake up as he didn’t hear them come in. He would only open his eyes when stroked. After having a thorough assessment with our vets he was diagnosed as completely deaf.
But our kennel staff were determined to help him and Gordon quickly picked up commands by body language, hand signals and reading faces. He has been taught to sit, stand, put his paw out and stay. He has also been shown how to rollover and get down on the floor. The training made him more focused, less frustrated and he found it easier to bond with people.
Kennel staff, including Maria, Eric, Janet and Josh, went the extra mile spending hours with Gordon in the sensory garden teaching him new skills and urging him to use his other senses to compensate for his lack of hearing. They wanted to equip him with new ways of communicating with people so he wouldn’t be left behind.
Gordon’s new family
Gordon’s new owner, Richard Neenan, 31, (pictured with kennel staff) said: “My girlfriend, Josanne, was browsing The Mayhew’s website and saw Gordon being taught sign language on a special pets video by London Live television. She took one look at him and decided she wanted him. We had a Staffie before with health problems, who sadly died, and we really wanted to help another special pet.
“He’s already very attached to us and settled in so well. We’ve got a garden and a huge golf course nearby where he goes for a walk every day. We have a very confident house rabbit and they’ve rubbed noses a few times. He’s a great dog, very clever and full of beans. We don’t notice he’s deaf and we’re keeping up the sign language. ”
Mayhew staff cheered and clapped
Lisa Guiney, Dog Adoption Officer, added: “All the staff were clapping and cheering when we heard the news. There wasn’t a dry eye in the home. “We can only guess he was overlooked because he’s deaf and there are lots of Staffies out there for people to choose from and they’ve got a bad reputation, which is so unfair.
“I’ve never seen such a fantastic reaction to an adoption before. We have all waited so long for this moment and it couldn’t happen to a nicer dog. Despite his deafness he is the most confident, active and clever dog who really deserved his second chance after being here for so long.”
Our staff and foster carers look after the dogs and cats in our care until we find them a new home and their forever family – for as long as it takes. We want to thank everyone for all their kindness and support to Gordon and also the media who featured his story to help him find his forever home.
Photo credit: Bonnie Baker
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