Losing your hearing, or being born deaf, can be a difficult thing to come to terms with.
You can miss the sounds you used to hear, or feel down because you may never know what they sound like in the first place.
It may not be easier, but a hearing dog could help to turn things around for you. In fact, you may just find that they are able to change your life.
Here are seven ways in which a hearing dog could make things better and easier for you.
#1 They Become Part of You
When you get your hearing dog, they almost immediately become a part of you.
They are your new ears, and as such you learn to move and work together in order to communicate. It is a strong bond that you will both share for the rest of your lives.
While every dog is a part of us, it is more the case for hearing dogs because they are performing such an essential task for us.
They let you know when there is a knock at the door, a text, any form of sound with simple movements or touches that are the result of hard work and training. As they are your ears, they truly are a part of you.
#2 They Alleviate Feelings of Isolation
Being deaf or experiencing hearing loss can be incredibly isolating, and this often leads to loneliness. You are locked out from a part of the world that almost everyone else is able to experience, and it is not always an easy thing to accept.
Your hearing dog is access to the outside, and can help to provide a way for you to communicate with others. They are also a friend in themselves, and that can be a great way to beat loneliness.
With a hearing dog, you can get out and about again, lifting the barrier of isolation that may have been in place for you before.
#3 They Can Improve Your Mental Health
It is not uncommon for those who are hard of hearing to suffer from conditions like anxiety and depression. They can be debilitating, but your hearing dog (just like any other dog) can help to relieve these feelings and boost your mood.
Studies have shown that just by petting your dog you are able to feel calmer and more relaxed, and this is because the hormone oxytocin is released throughout your body.
This is responsible for lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and also alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety.
Cortisol and endorphins are also released, boosting your mood and leaving you feeling a little better than you were before. Hugging your hearing dog, or just being close to them, is a sure way to battle your mental health issues. It’s not a cure, but it will definitely help.
#4 They Make You Feel Safer
It can be terrifying being deaf, especially if you are trying to get used to it.
You can no longer hear your surroundings, and going outside is not always a good experience because you don’t know if there is any danger nearby. Similarly, it can be daunting to live alone and be unable to hear what is potentially going on around you.
As a result, a hearing dog can make you feel safer and more secure in your home.
Due to the fact that they become your ears, you can rely on them to let you know if there is anything happening, or if you need to be alerted to something. They can keep you safe in and out of the home, so you don’t need to spend so much time worrying anymore.
#5 They are a Constant Companion
Your hearing dog is always there, no matter what.
They are a constant companion, and for many, the best form of friendship and communication that they have. Friends and family may leave, but your hearing dog will remain a constant in your life, and one that will never judge you, or scold you, for the way you feel or want to express yourself.
They are a confidant that you can say anything to without fear of it being repeated by others. In many ways, they are the most trustworthy and loyal companions that you will have – and that goes for everyone who owns a dog.
#6 They Give You Confidence
When you lose your hearing, you may also find that your confidence slips away.
Things become less certain than they were, and you have a whole new way of life to tackle.
With your hearing dog, things are less daunting and can feel easier to overcome. The more you are able to do, the faster your confidence will return to you.
It’s the best way to get over your fears and start to re-enter the world, which then leads to our next (and final) point.
#7 They Give You Independence
Losing your hearing also comes with a loss of independence.
You are no longer able to hear things, and this includes traffic and other potential hazards that may cross your path. It can be frustrating because you need someone to go everywhere with you, but once you have a hearing dog that will change.
All you will need is your furry friend to take you where you need to go in a safe manner.
They can help you cross the road, keep you away from hazards, and show you which way to go. They are there to help you lead a life that is as normal and independent as possible.
Being, or becoming, hard of hearing or deaf doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience.
Of course, there is a lot of emotional pain that comes with the process, but your hearing dog is the one that will help pull you out of that difficult period.
If the experiences of others are anything to go by, a hearing dog will end up changing your life in the best way possible. They bring joy in the darkest times, confidence when you have lost it, and they are able to bring back the independence that you lost.
They are a part of you, and your journey together is sure to be an amazing one.