Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dogs With Special Needs

A few weeks ago I blogged about service dogs and cats who help people with special needs. Often animals have special needs of their own, which may make it difficult and expensive to care for them. For instance, one of our small dogs was on a special diet that cost more than the food for several larger dogs would have. According to TV reports, Gibson, the biggest dog in the world, recently had a leg amputated because of cancer. These are only two out of thousands of possible examples.
Once we had two deaf dalmations. As with many deaf humans, they didn't consider themselves disabled and were only mildly inconvenienced by being unable yo hear. They didn't know what they were missing.
Since dogs (and many other animals) naturally communicate using body language, it was easy for them to learn to understand commands in American Sign Language. One of them learned to understand over 300 signs, mostly names of people, animals, places and foods and taught her humans to understand about thirty dog "signs"

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