Barlow & Susan – Long Time Partners

I am profoundly hearing-impaired and have been the recipient of Barlow for seven years. In many ways, I can’t remember life without him. He has made a huge difference. He has been trained to alert me to sounds around my home. I am often alone during the day and he is very enthusiastic in alerting me to sounds. He lets me know when the phone rings, when someone comes to the door either knocking or ringing the bell, the cooker times, the alarm clock and the smoke alarm.
Thanks to everyone at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People NZ for my great furry alarm.Susan Broadhurst

Barlow_Susan_in_GardenWhen someone he knows comes calling, he keenly launches himself at the door. So keenly that we installed toughened glass in the bottom panels of the exterior doors to avoid any nasty accidents.

He is a very enthusiastic working dog and loves being involved in the activities in the house. He loves to be near me and I think of him as a portable furry alarm. I can relax knowing that he will let me know what is happening.

Through legislation, Barlow is entitled to go pretty much everywhere with me, wearing his yellow coat which identifies his role. This is a tremendous help to me as people realise that I have a ‘hidden disability’ and treat me accordingly.

Barlow was rescued from a pound in Masterton. He was unable to be cared for by a family and was assessed by Hearing Dogs for Deaf People NZ as being a suitable dog for training. It was a second chance for Barlow.

When he came to me, he had already done a couple of years’ service with recipients in both Christchurch and Palmerston North, and had also been to Parliament to lobby the Select Committee that recommended the law changes to give Hearing Dogs equal access rights with guide dogs.

barlow_open_dayHe was a little overweight when he arrived at the Broadhurst household and, after stricter control of his food intake, he trimmed down to the point where he was able to squeeze through the bars in our outside gates. It took us a little time to work out how he was getting out, then extra bars were promptly added to foil his escape plan.

Hearing Dogs enhance opportunities for communication with others and enable their owners to gain a greater sense of safety and security in their environment.

Thanks to everyone at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People NZ for my great furry alarm.

Susan Broadhurst

Update: Sadly, in early 2016, Barlow passed away and is greatly missed.

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