What you need to know (but can't see) about Gracie

July 01, 2015

Gracie deaf Dalmatian

Meet Gracie. She’s a 9 year old liver spotted Dalmatian. LOVES treats ... has gorgeous brown eyes ... and gets super excited about saying hello.

I feel like she needs a proper introduction because she sometimes doesn’t come across well to new people. Had a bit of a rocky start in our house as well, as we didn’t know the whole story about her past.

Gracie has come to stay with us for the short term ... or maybe longer ... and in 9 short days has taught us more than we thought was possible about patience, human kindness and dog language.

We picked up Gracie last weekend from another family who was finding it difficult to manage with 6 dogs in a small space that were always fighting. Gracie was the victim of a bite that drew blood, and they decided that she needed another home.

From day one in our house, piecing together snippets from her past, the trainer and the vet ... her story has gradually unfolded. We are learning more each day about her medical issues, which currently include:

  • She has had a stroke or some level of brain trauma – resulting in head tilt, confusion and regular trances
  • Urinary incontinence – with medication needed every day (and accidents if we don’t do midnight walks)
  • Depression – no great surprise given everything she’s been through
  • Possible problems with her liver difficulty absorbing the nutrients from food
  • A 90 degree kink in her tail (cute to us ... but not a beauty trait in Dalmatians)

The issue that changed things completely though was discovering that she was deaf. This was probably not known by her previous owners, who thought she was just badly behaved.

On top of this – or perhaps because of it – she has never been properly trained. She doesn’t come when she’s called or respond to ANY commands. Well, you wouldn’t would you ... if you couldn’t hear them? And she is going through a huge change from a difficult doggie house to a house full of crazy laughs and busy kids. A pretty tough hill to climb for any dog.

I don’t know if Gracie will settle with us. Only time will tell. But I have thought long and hard about how to best look after her, how to teach her some basic sign language for “sit” and “away”, and how to keep her safe when she is out and about. It is often said that a deaf dog needs to always stay on its leash, as she will not come back when called. But what would happen to her if she accidentally got loose and was scared and frightened in a strange neighbourhood?

Although My Bugle is focussed on people ... I wanted to think through how I could best help Gracie. It doesn't really matter if you're a human or a dog when you need help. She needed an ID tag, and I needed to weigh up what was most important to get across in an emergency. Despite her complex health issues, I feel that the most important thing for people to know is that she can’t hear. There’s no point shouting at her to get her to move ... or leave ... or go home ... both parties will just become confused and upset. And that could lead to an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.

She just needs a bit of understanding and help to get back safely to her family. So I’ve made her a special tag to help get this across, with all of our phone numbers on the back. 

Gracie's tag - deaf dog

Wish us luck with the training, and we'll see if she settles. In the meantime, I feel better knowing that we've helped smooth her journey a little. Sleep well and dream of cheese tidbits Gracie...



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in News

Who is exempt from wearing face masks or coverings?
Who is exempt from wearing face masks or coverings?

November 17, 2020

One of the most controversial parts of life during this Coronavirus pandemic seems to be face masks. Why should you wear one? When do you need to wear one? And is anyone exempt from this policy? How can you communicate that you are "Mask Exempt"?

View full article →

Which emergency symbol should be on my medical alert bracelet?
Which emergency symbol should be on my medical alert bracelet?

September 15, 2020 1 Comment

To make it easier to identify medical information in an emergency situation, there are two commonly used symbols that medical staff are trained to look out for. What are they? And which one should you choose for your medical alert or ID jewellery?

View full article →

The power of daily affirmations
The power of daily affirmations

June 21, 2020

View full article →

Welcome to Butler & Grace. We offer products and services for sale under these terms and conditions, which apply to every order, and can only be changed with the express written consent of Butler & Grace Ltd.

It is important that you take the time to read them carefully. They will be updated from time to time without notice (current version is 1.02), and you can always access the current version of the terms on this webpage.

If you have any questions about these terms and conditions, please contact us at hello@butlerandgrace.co

** Please also read our Privacy Policy **


Explanation of Terminology


Intellectual Property Rights


Moderation of Content


Variation of Specification


Prices and Payment




Care of Jewellery


Quality and Performance




Alterations and Repairs


Love It Guarantee




Force Majeure




Butler & Grace Ltd Logo