After reading about Jovi and Graham on the Hearing Dogs UK website, we are nominating this remarkable dog for a Naturo SuperDog Award. Graham is a teacher at a Prep School in Oxfordshire and he also plays for the England Deaf Rugby Union side and is their assistant coach. Jovi is his Cocker Spaniel who has changed his life. Together, Graham and Jovi have raised awareness and funds for Hearing Dogs in the UK.
Here is an excerpt from Graham’s story published on www.hearingdogs.org.uk. in May 2019.
“My hearing dog Jovi has changed my life in so many ways. He has helped me to overcome some of my anxieties around interacting with other people, and his presence actually encourages interaction. I have had so many people come up to me and ask questions about him. When people find out he is my hearing dog they start to ask more questions. This has made me far more accepting and even proud of my hearing loss.
“I’m far more confident to go out and be approached by people when I’m with Jovi as they tend to be far more deaf-aware and try to make allowances for me. I also feel more confident when asking someone to repeat something, as I feel they will be more understanding and not think I’m being rude or haven’t been listening.
“Jovi gives me a greater feeling of safety. His presence when I’m home alone or out and about makes me feel more comfortable. This allows me to go upstairs or into the kitchen without worrying about missing a delivery or being broken into. I also sleep better knowing that Jovi will eagerly alert me to my alarm clock each morning. Before, I would have to rely on my wife Anna to wake me up. If she was away, I’d have to rely on multiple alarms and even a phone call from her. These may seem like small issues to some, but collectively they had a real impact on my daily life.
“Jovi’s non-contact alerts also make me aware of other sounds he may hear just by looking in their direction, such as traffic or people walking behind me in a street.
“Communication in our house used to be quite difficult at times, as Anna could struggle to get my attention. Now, thanks to Jovi’s amazing abilities, Anna can call him and ask him to ‘Go get Graham!’ and he’ll come and alert me and take me to her. This makes a far more peaceful and relaxing household.
“Looking to the future, if my wife and I were to start a family, it is comforting to know that Jovi can be trained to alert me to a baby’s cry and will add to the safety and security of the household.