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Changing Lives & Communities

Hearing Dog Program

Hearing Dog Team Val & Maggie

Hearing Dog Team Val & Maggie

Val began her research on Hearing Dogs as she sought an option to provide her with safety and peace of mind when she “unplugs” from her cochlear implants. She knew a hearing service dog would mean she could feel safe, independent, and comfortable in her home alone, without being dependent on others. Hence, Val reached out to IHDI to begin the journey to welcome a hearing service dog partner into her life.

Beginning with virtual meetings and homework from the client training handbook and videos, Val was committed to IHDI’s lengthy training process from the start! Val’s careful preparation helped her make the most of the two weeks she spent with her hearing service dog partner Maggie at Team Training. Certification testing is “a big deal,” but Val knew she and Maggie were ready.

Following Team Training, Val and Maggie have grown together, learned from their mistakes, and become an incredibly bonded and successful hearing dog team. Val put in countless hours of hard work on her own and with the support of IHDI trainers. Even Val’s husband, John, participates as a helpful training assistant. Knowing that being partnered with a hearing service dog means maintaining Maggie’s training, Val ensures she and Maggie practice numerous times a week as a team!

On numerous occasions, Val remarked how surprised she was that Maggie was alerting her to sounds and thoroughly enjoying the work! Val consistently demonstrates her dedication to the process and is steadfast in helping Maggie be her best. Each has grown tremendously in their abilities and confidence to operate as a constructive hearing dog team.

With Maggie, Val feels a sense of security and is more comfortable when she is home alone. She is confident Maggie will alert her to the smoke alarm, the timer in the kitchen, or her cell phone. Maggie also accompanies Val to the grocery store, restaurants, and other venues. Together, they successfully navigate everyday challenges of being d/Deaf in a hearing-centic world!

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