Posted: Fri, October 5 2012 at 12:07 AM, Updated: Fri, October 5 2012 at 12:34 AM
A Southern Oregon non-profit showed a national TV audience just how much it is making a difference in people's lives today. This as Central Point's Dogs for the Deaf was invited to be a special guest on NBC's syndicated show, "The Doctors." NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh reports.
The Rogue Valley's own Carrie Brooks took center stage in front of a national television audience Thursday on the set of NBC's "The Doctors." The certified dog trainer demonstrated how
highly trained dogs, like Bonsai, help work sounds for those with hearing loss.
Brooks, along with Oscar-winning actress, Marlee Matlin, sang the praises of Southern Oregon's Dogs for the Deaf.
For the last 35 years, Dogs for the Deaf has rescued shelter animals from euthanasia, training them to become lifelines for people in need.
"To spread the word and show people what we've been doing for 35 years is just a miraculous opportunity," said Executive Director, Robin Dickson.
But some would argue the dogs, who are trained for 4-6 months on this Southern Oregon campus, work miracles of their own.
The canines are trained to alert their owners to specific sounds like
doorbells, oven buzzers, even fire alarms. An estimated
13-percent of people around the country have a hearing impairment.
People like Judi Springborn, who relies on her service dog "Apple Pie.
"When I got my first hearing dog, it was like coming out of the closet," said Springborn. "I have a cochlear implant, but without my gear, I am profoundly deaf. She offers me security at night."
Allowing them to live more full and independent lives.
In all, the organization has placed roughly 3,000 dogs across the country.
"It's easy to touch people's hearts with what Dogs for the Deaf does," says Dickson.
Dogs like Bonsai, who seemed to enjoy his time in the spotlight, but can't wait to get back to being a companion and a four-legged hearing aid for someone in need.