Warminster man's hearing dog on talks tour
Profoundly deaf Warminster man David Ball hopes to raise awareness of the impact of hearing loss with the help of his special dog, Bruce.
The 45-year-old, of Bishopstrow, began to lose his hearing in 2007. Unsuitable for cochlear implants, he contacted Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Mr Ball, who met Bruce when he was two hours old, put the pointer forward for the course. After months of assessments and training with the charity, Bruce met the 75 per cent pass mark.
The pair now go around Wiltshire, putting on talks for groups such as the WI, about what the charity does, as well as speaking about the impact of hearing loss.
Mr Ball, a former company director, said: “There is a great deal about deafness and hearing loss people don’t ever take into account. It impacts a huge number of people.
“The talks give people a chance to learn more about the charity and the training, work and life of one of the hearing dogs, while also demonstrating the impact he has had on me.
“Bruce is quite rare, as pointers are notoriously difficult to train. They are very strong-willed and choose their owner, rather than the other way around, but he managed to make it through all the assessments.
“He is unlike any other guide assistant dogs, as he works 24/7. If someone comes to the door, he will alert me. If a fire alarm or oven timer goes off, he’ll also let me know.”
Bruce won the heroic category at the 2010 Hearing Dog of the Year awards, after saving his owner when he nearly fell into a diabetic coma.
He also has his own blog, which Mr Ball started when they were training, talking about assessments as well as everyday situations.
To find out about the talks, contact email@example.com, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People information can be found at www.hearingdogs.org.uk
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