What’s the first thing Nick taught his deaf pup when he first brought the little guy home? Sign language, of course!
Nick Abbott never imagined that he would be a proud puppy parent, but he knew right from the get-go that he was going to adopt the adorable 12-week-old black lab that kept showing up on his social media feed.
The sweet pooch was deaf, just like him. This was obviously a Sherlock Holmes case of “It was meant to be!”
When Emerson was just 6 weeks old, he was rescued from a shelter in Florida and taken to his temporary home at NFR Maine, a foster-based rescue center.
At first, no one realized that anything was wrong with Emerson’s hearing. Lindsay Powers, a volunteer foster mom with the rescue, told Good Morning America that it soon became clear he was no ordinary pupper:
“Once we got him home from the vet’s office from Florida, we realized he had hearing difficulties. He doesn’t let it bother him at all, though he’s a typical puppy.”
What wasn’t so typical however, was the seizures the poor little guy experienced as a resulted of his infection from canine parvovirus. But, he was a champ and after he pulled through, he was put up for adoption.
Plenty of people showed interest. After all, who wouldn’t want to adopt a cute black lab? But, it quickly became apparent that he had special needs – he was a wee bit hard of hearing.
NFR Maine didn’t want him going home with just anyone. They needed to find his soul mate, someone who would totally understand where he was coming from!
So, Lindsay decided to post a message on her Facebook page that came straight from the doggy’s mouth:
“It is unknown if I was born deaf, or if it was from the seizures. What IS known is that a lack of being able to hear doesn’t keep me down! I’m a happy go lucky little dude…I love everyone and everything! I’ve been shopping, on long car rides, ice fishing, and played lots outside with my foster kids!”
To make it clear that being deaf wasn’t any hindrance to his happy-go-lucky puppy lifestyle, “Emerson” yapped:
“I do really well on a leash and respond to vibrations if you need to get my attention! I’m currently learning to sit on command, Thanks to the dogs of the house showing me the ropes!”
When Nick, who is also deaf, saw Emerson show up on his Facebook feed, he sent in an application to adopt his new buddy. Lindsay recalled:
“Right off the bat he said, ‘I’m deaf also and I feel like we’d have a good connection.'”
She wasted no time in getting Emerson to his forever home, and processed Nick’s application right away.
Nick had never even met a dog in real life before, but that didn’t even matter. Being soul mates and all, they had probably already met in a previous life. What other reason could explain them being drawn together?
Nick knew that his new buddy couldn’t hear him. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t communicate. He taught Emerson some sign language, and although neither could hear the other, they totally understood what was being said.
This deaf man had never met a dog in real life, and yet here he was teaching a deaf puppy sign language!
One of the first things Nick signed to Emerson is “give me sloppy puppy kisses here.” But of course, that was almost too easy! He is a puppy after all.
So, the next thing Nick taught his pup to understand is “Netflix and chill.”
I think we can all agree that this is an important survival skill for Emerson to learn, right? ‘Cause a doggo needs to know how to do these things to stay alive in the real world!
Emerson also knows some basic commands like sit, lay down, and come.
Richelle Abbott, Nick’s mom, told Good Morning America that her son and the puppy were meant for each other.
“It’s amazing. Whenever they’re together, Emerson is always finding a way to lean on Nick.”
Emerson does more than juts lean on Nick. Just look at the fierce loyalty in his eyes! They are each other’s protector, friend, and confidant.
“He had such a rough start to life and he ended up with an absolute fairy tale ending.”
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