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Samantha and Mañana pose for a photo during placement.

Certified Hearing Dog Manana was placed earlier this year with Samantha in California. Mañana alerts Samantha’s to her cell phone, the doorbell, door knocks, and the smoke alarm. She also provides Samantha environmental awareness when the two of them are out in public. We recently checked in with Samantha to find out how their first months as an Assistance Dog team have been.

Q: What inspired you to apply to receive a Hearing Dog?

Samantha: My mom encouraged me to apply for a hearing dog. I was not certain or did not feel that I would be accepted and offered a Hearing Dog; however, after much thought I figured it wouldn’t hurt to apply. Ultimately, I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did!


Q: How did you feel when you heard Mañana would be placed with you? Do you remember meeting Mañana and what that was like?

When I first got the email stating that Dogs for Better Lives may have a dog for me, I was surprised at how soon it was and was super excited. I told my mom right away, and I read the email over and over. I could not wait to meet her! The first time I met Mañana, I remember noticing her deep, soulful eyes and the size of her paws.


Samantha and Mañana stop for a quick photo (and hug) to show their special bond.

Q: How is life different with Mañana?

Ever since Mañana and I became a team I have felt more confident to go to places on my own. Even at home she brings joy every day. She loves to work, and when she alerts me to sounds she gets so excited! Seeing her excitement brings a smile to my face. She is full of character and her personality makes her unique. She is such a diva.


Q: Is there anything that has surprised you with Mañana?

She is so tuned into our surroundings. I have noticed that she becomes more alert when she hears someone near the door before they knock or ring the doorbell then she alerts me.


Q: What are some of Mañana’s favorite things to do in her downtime?

Mañana enjoys playing with her stuffed animals that squeak, tug with her rope Kong, learning to play fetch, lots and lots of pets, sleeping, and sniffing everything in her path.


Q: Is there anything you wish more people knew about Hearing Dog Teams?

You need to put in the work early on to establish a strong bond, and once you have that connection, it is the best. The work that Hearing Dogs do is an extremely valuable aid. Dogs for Better Lives is an amazing organization that truly is life changing for so many people like myself.


Hearing Assistance Dogs are trained to alert people to household sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence. They are trained to alert to sounds by making physical contact (jumping on you, or nosing you) then leading you to the sound. Additionally, many of our Hearing Dogs are also trained and certified for public access.  Learn more about Hearing Assistance Dogs and apply at dogsforbetterlives.org/hearing-dogs

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