One-year-old Pearl may not be able to see or hear her owner, but that doesn’t stop her from knowing exactly where she is. Born with a condition called “double merle,” Pearl has had to navigate the world a little differently than the average rescue dog. She’s blind and deaf, but thanks to the right kind of training and a loving owner, she’s learned to overcome her disabilities.
Pearl lives in Hawaii with her owner Lauren and three other rescue dogs, Pebble, Penny, and Pete. When she was adopted in November 2016, there was no guarantee she’d fit seamlessly into her new family. Her disabilities posed obvious challenges, but Pearl’s resiliency, intelligence, and infectious personality combined with Lauren’s commitment to making her feel at home has paid off in the best way.
Thanks to a trainer, Pearl knows several commands including “sit,” “down,” “paw,” and she’s in the process of learning “crawl.” Because Pearl can’t hear what command she’s being given, and she can’t see a hand signal, all of her tricks are tought through touch. Lauren told iHeartdogs,
“She is whip smart, playful, and fearless.”
Out of all the commands Pearl knows, her most impressive and endearing trick is something she learned all on her own. Everyday when Lauren comes home or walks into a room, Pearl doesn’t need her two missing senses to know exactly where she is. Forced to rely on her sense of smell even more than other dogs, Pearl easily picks up her owner’s scent. She uses her sniffer to guide her all the way to her favorite person, and she looks so excited and proud of herself when she finds what she’s looking for.
Pearl and Lauren enjoy a life full of fun and adventure, and they never let something as simple as sight or hearing stop them from doing what they love. Pearl goes on walks everyday and is always up for a romp with her best buddy, Pete. A plush earthworm called Wormy is her favorite toy, and she picks it out among everything else in the house to take with her everywhere she goes. She hikes through mixed terrain where she’s challenged to think about each step, and when the day is over, she’s always ready to fall asleep in her owner’s arms.
Many dogs with similar disabilities never get the chance to hike, cuddle, or learn new tricks. People think of deaf and blind dogs as being too much work, and many never make it out of the shelter. Pearl is proof that no goal is out of reach.
Keep up with Pearl’s adventures by following her on Instagram.
Featured Image Source: Instagram: Pearl the Poi Puppy