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Changing Lives & Communities

Hearing Dog Program

Hearing Dog Team Sara & Augie

Hearing Dog Team Sara & Augie

Sara, a dedicated audiologist and single mom of three, has navigated the challenges of progressive hearing loss since childhood. Her sons were crucial “ears” at home when balancing work and parenting. However, her sons are growing and leaving the home. Several recent incidents, including a flooded room due to not hearing a running faucet and spoiled food resulting from not hearing the buzzer of the unlatched refrigerator, made Sara realize her pressing need for additional support.

Beyond the daily challenges, Sara also grappled with safety concerns during solitary walks, especially after dark. This heightened her anticipation for the arrival of a Hearing Dog, which would offer enhanced environmental awareness and alleviate her sons’ responsibilities, providing Sara with a newfound sense of independence.

Seeking more than just assistance, Sara envisioned a Hearing Dog as a companion, someone to bring security, engagement, and spontaneous interactions into her life. She longed for a connection that went beyond practicality, believing that the presence of a furry friend would encourage her to venture out more often, fostering a sense of confidence and security.

Enter Augie, a bright and eager goldendoodle raised by an inmate Master Handler in IHDI’s PAWS’abilities Program. Augie mastered his cues and sound alerts, and his swift progress during Team Training left an indelible impression on Sara and the trainers. Augie’s responsiveness and well-practiced skills, honed through the loving guidance of his Puppy Raisers and the expert training in the Prison Program, made him the perfect match for Sara.

The bond between Sara and Augie flourished during their sound alert and public access certifications. Reflecting on their journey, Trainer Leah remarked, “This team worked hard learning cues and practicing different sound alerts, and their personalities are well matched.”

Augie’s presence not only transformed Sara’s sleep patterns, ensuring a restful night’s sleep with timely alerts, but also brought unexpected joy and companionship into her life. With Augie by her side, Sara envisions their partnership evolving over time. Sara’s newfound sense of security and Augie’s unwavering companionship have become integral parts of their shared journey.

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