Terrier with Life-Saving Ears; Hearing-Impaired Veterinary Nurse Gets Trained Dog from Lismore Lions

The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia), May 20, 2011 | Go to article overview

Terrier with Life-Saving Ears; Hearing-Impaired Veterinary Nurse Gets Trained Dog from Lismore Lions


Byline: Helen Hawkes Associate Editor

SOUND TRAINING

The dogs let their owners know when:

The telephone/mobile rings

There is a knock at the door or the doorbell rings

The microwave sounds

The smoke alarm is triggered

The baby cries

The kettle whistles

VICKI THROWER hadn't planned on having a dog. But now the trained veterinary nurse, who is aware of very few sounds without hearing aids, wouldn't be without Izzy.

The friendly two-year-old terrier, who came from a pound in South Australia, is her ears.

aShe alerts me to the fire alarm, the phone ringing, the timer on the oven, the kettle whistling, the smoke alarm and a knock at the door,a says Ms Thrower, of Tuntable Creek.

aI feel so much more secure and confident having her in the house.a

Izzy is the first Lions Hearing Dogs Inc dog to be sponsored by Lismore Lions, although there are other assistance dogs in the Northern Rivers area.

The cost is close to $2000 and that covers training that can take up to nine months.

During their time at the training centre in Adelaide, dogs have regular trips to shopping centres, ride on buses and are taken to surrounding townships to familiarise them with places they will encounter once delivered to their new owners.

For another three months, Lismore Lions members will visit Ms Thrower and Izzy three times a week to see that the little terrier is performing her tasks, according to treasurer Richard Adams. …

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