Enzo’s favorite sound is a door knock because that means company.
DBL found Enzo in a kennel in Washington and brought him back to the West Coast campus in Central Point, Oregon, to become a Hearing Assistance Dog. He got his person, Barbara O’Connell, eight years ago. Barbara was born with reduced hearing in both ears. She was 30 years old when she saw an advertisement for DBL. She applied and received her first Home Hearing Dog, Mattie, a springer spaniel.
“I was overwhelmed that a service dog was free to me,” Barbara says. “I knew I was missing a lot of sounds. At the time, the quality of hearing aids was not good. Having Mattie lowered my anxiety.”
Barbara’s second dog from DBL was Jack, a black Labrador. Together, they worked with their DBL trainer to get him certified as a Hearing Assistance Dog. Then Jack could assist Barbara anywhere she needed. “What a freedom that was!” Barbara remembers.
Enzo is Barbara’s third dog from DBL. She describes him as a “mixture goober dog.” “He’s very happy and likes his job and being a helper,” she says.
The two live in Goodyear, Arizona. Enzo has traveled with Barbara to hotels and on airplanes, providing reassurance that she can be away from her normal environment and still be safe. Some of those travels have been on behalf of DBL, to promote awareness and interview applicants.
“I have loved spreading the word about Dogs for Better Lives,” Barbara says. “I love telling people that once a dog is rescued, even if it’s not trainable, it will get a suitable home. Dogs for Better Lives has been a huge part of my life. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do what I’ve done in my life without them.”
Would you or someone you care about benefit from a Hearing Assistance Dog? Learn more and apply.