Lothair — Therapy

Location: Hampton, Virginia

I worked in Deaf Education for 30 years and 20 years in Animal Assisted Therapy. In 2009 I wanted to adopt a deaf sheltie to work with deaf non deaf children. I acquired Lothair when he was three months old.. He was born deaf and is his coloring is called, a Double Merle”.

I immediately began teaching him American Sign Language for obedience and communication in the same way a deaf child acquires language through his eyes and not his ears. Lothair was a quick learner. In one year he acquired and responded to 21 different signs. I had him evaluated by TDI when he was 1 1/2 years old . He passed the 14 step evaluation at the first testing. Five years a ago he became blind in his left eye due to a genetic cataract.

This did not imped his therapy work at various schools in this area, three hospitals, including Langley AF B hospital, library reading programs with children and visits to assisted/retirement facilities. During the last 10/1/2 years of his therapy work Lothair received the TDI Gold Pin for 500 documented visits, He currently has 735 visits. Here is a dog who has overcome the barrier of deafness who demonstrates daily his quiet courage to understand his environment despite deafness and visual impairment Lothair has dignity, intelligence and a willingness to please He is a bright, confident and happy sheltie. In 2017 Lothair received the Virginia Veterinarian Medical Association Animal Hero Award. And the Langley AFB ACC/SG Real Pro Award.

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