In general, people have heard of guide dogs for the blind, but did you know that there are guide dogs for the deaf?
Nyx is one of them, she helps me in everyday life, she is my ears. But how can she help me?
Well here are some small examples:
- She can warn me when someone knocks on the door and can’t find the doorbell >.< (I have a lighted doorbell that I normally use when people are not afraid to use it, like parcel deliverers !!!!)
- She helps me a lot in the kitchen, because she alerts me when the oven stops or when my timer is over.
- She warns me by telling me when a vehicle is behind me, and thus prevents me from ending up in a pancake!
- To wake up, I have my phone on vibrate, but it may happen that I do not feel it if I have had a somewhat restless night, and well Nyx serves as an alarm clock. (Well, it is a bit too wet for my taste!)
- She alerts me when someone calls me on the street.
Having daily help was a sine qua non condition for my dad to let me study in a foreign country like France last year, so we started looking for this type of help but unfortunately the farms are still very rare.
And dogs are very expensive, because their learning is complex. Their training costs between 10,000 and 12,000 euros per dog.
Each dog is first welcomed by a host family. For sixteen months. Then, they joined a center where, for six months, they were trained in recognizing sounds and the behavior to adopt for each of them …
To get Nyx, I sold my car and worked very hard. Fortunately for me, with my type of deafness, where the implant does not work, I had state aid, and a privileged place on the waiting list.
Yes, the other problem is that since there are few dogs, it takes on average 3 years to get one.
To be able to acquire one of those hairballs, beyond selling a kidney and having a foolproof patience, there are a few conditions to respect:
- Have a document proving your “handicap”;
- To be of age ;
- And of course be able to provide all the care your pet needs.
I hope that one day these animals will be much more accessible for deaf people.
In the meantime, if you are a parent of a deaf child and you cannot afford it, I still advise you to get a dog, a cat, a ferret, a rabbit… or any animal. Being deaf tends to lock us in a lot, contact with animals helps us a lot to open up to others.