This month I thought I would write about the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as I am the proud beneficiary of a Hearing Dog whose name is Abigail. Hearing Dogs for the Deaf was launched at Crufts in London in 1982. The charity trains carefully selected dogs to alert severely, profoundly or totally deaf people to everyday sounds which hearing people may take for granted, such as the ringing of an alarm clock, doorbell or telephone, and the sound of a smoke alarm, baby alarm or cooker timer.
In 1986 the first training centre in the UK was purchased in Lewknor, Oxfordshire. In 1999 The Grange, a former stud farm was purchased at Saunderton, Buckinghamshire where work was completed in 2002 and the Lewknor centre closed. In 1994 another training centre was purchased, this time in Cliffe, North Yorkshire. This centre is now too small and a site has been purchased in Bielby for a new, larger training centre where work is currently ongoing.