A sweet senior-aged Boxer sat forlornly in her kennel, unwanted, at the Carolina Boxer Rescue that serves the Carolinas and part of Virginia. She seemed absolutely adorable in her “available for adoption” pictures, so it was surprising to Jane and Tom Cannone that no one had snatched her up yet.
The Virginia couple inquired about her, shocked that she remained at the shelter day after day after day. But then they learned it was most likely because she was deaf.
Something about this sweetheart drew them to her, so they decided to take the plunge and adopt her.
They made the trek from Norfolk to Charleston, South Carolina, to give this old gal a second shot at her forever family. They learned that her previous owners likely were very affectionate, since this Boxer named Boombox was incredibly well behaved.
The Cannones were thrilled that Boombox quickly became attached to them. She was very loyal, loving and quiet — she didn’t bark much — and adjusted to her new family and home quite well.
Then one day while on a trip to the veterinarian the couple learned something new about their rescue pet.
After finding out that Boombox was deaf, their vet Layne Brett decided to do an experiment. She gave a downward hand motion that means “sit” in dog sign language — and Boombox sat immediately!
There is a formal system of sign language developed by dog trainers to use on police dogs, show dogs and with deaf dogs, Dr. Brett explained. Boombox actually knew some of those commands, Jane told The Virginian-Pilot, and will respond to them.
“When we hold a finger up and motion to her, she knows it’s time for her walk.”
The couple was stunned that their cuddly dog knew sign language, but were thrilled to know they could still communicate with her. Jane said she plans to research other dog sign language signals and see if Boombox responds.
They’ve noticed that Boombox watches her humans closely, relies more on her sense of vision and smell, and doesn’t like to be left alone or in dark places. People marvel at how well behaved she is when the family goes for a walk, Tom said.
“Other dogs in the neighborhood are barking, and people ask me how I keep Boombox quiet. I just tell them that she obeys.”
Jane said that even without her deafness and newfound ability to understand sign language, there is “something special” about their new pooch. Boombox may be blessed to have found her forever home, but the Cannones know how fortunate they are to have been paired with her.
Jane explained to the The Virginian-Pilot:
“She’s so sweet, and I wouldn’t change this experience for the world.”
This all-white boxer has just a smattering of black spots around her nose and is the cutest thing. We’re so happy she found her forever home with parents who dote upon her and now can communicate at her level in a special way.