Deaf man adopts deaf rescue puppy dog and teaches it sign language

Deaf man adopts deaf rescue puppy dog and teaches it sign language

A man who was born deaf is teaching sign language to the hearing-impaired rescue puppy he recently adopted.

Nicholas Abbot adopted the adorable puppy called Emerson through NFR Maine in North Monmouth, after learning about the pooch from a Facebook post by the rescue centre.

"I was born deaf," the 31-year-old told WABI 5. "I said, 'Oh, he's deaf too, maybe I can go check him out to see what he's all about'."

Abbot went to meet Emerson just a few days later and fell in love with the young canine.

Emerson and Nicholas Abbot Credit: Facebook / NFR Maine

"He came straight to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there. So you can tell he kind of picked me," Abbot recalled. "And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good."

Now settled into his new home, Emerson is learning visual commands and sign language - such as 'sit' and 'lie down' - from his proud new owner.

Emerson Credit: Facebook / NFR Maine

It turned out that the black lab mix didn't have the best start in life, having fallen ill with canine parvovirus at the tender age of eight weeks.

As a result, Emerson was examined at the hospital where vets then learned that he was born deaf and was likely visually impaired as well, WABI 5 reports.

Following his recovery from the virus, the pooch was put up for adoption.

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"Once we got him home from the vet's office from Florida, we realised he had hearing difficulties," Lindsay Powers of NFR Maine told Good Morning America. "He doesn't let it bother him at all, though he's a typical puppy."

"He had such a rough start to life and he ended up with an absolute fairy tale ending," Powers added.

Abbot and Emerson formed an immediate bond with each other - no doubt helped by their shared impairment.

"We understand each other very well," Abbot told WABI 5. "I'd like to think it was meant to be. He's special."