May 1, 2019 11:19 am
Updated: May 1, 2019 11:35 am

Deaf man adopts deaf rescue puppy, teaches him sign language commands

VIDEO: A deaf Maine man adopted a puppy that is also deaf, giving the dog a forever home and teaching it sign commands.


A deaf Maine man adopted a puppy that is also deaf, teaching it sign commands while giving the dog a forever home.

Nick Abbott was perusing Facebook last month when he came across a post in his news feed about Emerson, a 12-week-old puppy that lost its hearing.

“I said ‘Oh, he’s deaf too,’” the 31-year-old told WABI-TV late last month. “Maybe I can go check him out to see what he’s all about.”

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Turns out, Emerson was rescued from a shelter in Florida and moved to the North Florida Rescue of Maine (NFR Maine). The black Lab mix suffered from seizures and was hospitalized, where the dog developed an infection. Once recovered, he was put up for adoption.

“Emerson is still looking for his forever home,” NFR Maine’s Lindsay Powers said on Facebook in March. “Please keep sharing, this sweet boy deserves his own forever home!”

Abbott inquired about the pooch, and set up an opportunity to meet the dog.

“He came straight to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there,” Abbott explained to the news station. “So you can tell he kind of picked me. And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good.”

That’s when Emerson found his forever home. Now Abbott is teaching his new friend how to respond to visual commands, similar to sign language.

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Abbott said the dog understands visual commands of “sit, come here” and “lie down.”

“The bond that we have is awesome,” Abbott told WABI-TV. “We understand each other very well. I’d like to think it was meant to be. He’s special.”

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