Saturday Stories – Bo the Deaf Dog who hears with his Heart


Image credit: Flickr users David and Lynne Slater | CC BY 2.0 | via Wikimedia Commons

This week’s true Saturday Story is proof that just because a dog has a disability doesn’t mean that they can’t lead an active and fulfilling life!

Denise and Frank Sebastianelli were in need of a new dog. They wanted their new member of the family to provide dog therapy, so had decided they’d like a Flat Coated Retriever as they are known for their fun and sweet personalities.  Having found someone selling a litter of puppies, they went to take a visit.

When they arrived there were only two puppies left in the litter. One was described as confident and outgoing, whilst the other was quiet and shy – they were told that he would be the last one to go. The handler passed them the ‘best’ puppy to play with, whilst the quiet one was left alone in the corner. Whilst the first puppy was very cute and appealing, the couple asked to see the other dog but were advised “You really don’t want this one”. However, they were undeterred and insisted, and as the shy puppy crawled into Frank’s arms he snuggled in. They both knew then and there that they had to take him home.

Some time passed before Denise and Frank knew for sure their new dog, Bo, was deaf. Although they were initially worried, they soon realised Bo could ‘hear with his heart’ as well as any other dog could with their ears. They began training him with hand signals, and Bo thrived, learning everything and taking it all in his stride.

A year later Bo passed his Canine Good Citizen Test and became a fully registered Therapy Dog on his second birthday. These days he visits locals hospitals, hospices and nursing homes bringing joy and comfort to all he meets.

Read more Saturday Stories HERE.

Chris Green

About the Author: Chris Green works in the office at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs, using his technical expertise to assist wherever needed. In his spare time he likes playing guitar and bass, and hiking around Dartmoor.

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