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When Rosie, a 3-year-old pit bull mix first arrived at the Central Nebraska Humane Society, the staff was stumped as to why the pup would not respond to any of them. Grand Island Veteran's Home nurse and shelter volunteer Tracie Pfeifle discovered that it wasn't that Rosie didn't want to listen -- she actually couldn't hear. A pet lover and compassionate individual, Pfeifle took it upon herself to teach Rosie dog sign language.
"[Rosie] was pretty scared at first. I don't think she had a good first four years of her life," Pfeifle said in an interview with the New York Daily News. Pfeifle's goal was to reinforce positive behavior through sign language, but once Rosie took to learning, Pfeifle began looking into ways to teach her basic skills, modifying regular sign language to fit Rosie's needs.
Pfeifle explained that teaching Rosie how to understand sign helped the scared puppy who first came into the shelter transform into a totally different animal.
Rosie's transformation and ability to sign then caught the attention of Cindy Koch - a woman who also happened to be deaf and was in search of a deaf dog. Koch was Rosie's ticket to finally finding the forever home she deserved. "Because I'm deaf and we want to relate to her, and understand how she feels -- [we] want to communicate with her through signing, teach her signing." Koch told KCTV5.
Let's give all shelter pets a second chance at finding a forever home! By signing below, we encourage animal shelters to give all pets the opportunity to find a loving and suitable family!
Dear Tracie Pfeifle,
I'd like to send you a BIG ShoutOut! for finding Rosie a forever home through your commitment to teaching her dog sign language. Your selfless, caring, and compassionate act, made a difference to both her and her new family with Cindy Koch.
Your dedication to teaching a dog with a disability a way to communicate with others is inspiring, and your passion and love for animals is greatly appreciated. We thank you for finding Rosie the best friend in Cindy that she's always deserved!