BENTLEY, MICHIGAN: A hearing-impaired teenager adopted a deaf dog from a shelter. Walker Cousineau and his family brought home Dave, a 6-year-old pit bull mix, a month ago. The family had come across a photo of Dave on Facebook in July.
According Fox News Digital, the 14-year-old is “inseparable” from the dog, said his mother Mindy Cousineau. The mother told the outlet: “Walker wanted Dave because he knows the animals in the shelter [with] special needs are usually overlooked.”
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Walker was not born with hearing loss, the mother said. When he was 10, doctors discovered he had a kidney disorder called Alport Syndrome, which affected his hearing. Mindy said: “He doesn’t use sign language much. He reads lips and wears bilateral hearing aids, so they help.”
“He could be his buddy and know what he was going through – and understand. I think Walker needed someone too,” she added. “It worked perfectly.”
The Humane Society of Midland County Animal Shelter in Midland, Michigan, had released Dave’s photo. Since he was a deaf dog, no one showed interest in adopting him, according to the shelter.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, shelter manager Beth Wellman said Dave has had many “strikes” against him at the shelter, including with dogs his own age and breed. However, Dave was a favorite among the shelter volunteers, Beth revealed, adding that he was “comical when he was walking, affectionate [and] soft.”
“When the Cousineau family came especially to meet him, everyone at the shelter was hopeful that it would finally be his turn,” she said. “It ended up being a perfect match and we’re thrilled for the family and Dave.”
Mindy said of her son, “Walker is very kind and generous, so for others to notice him for his kindness is very strange to us because that’s just who he is.” She added, “When someone needs help, he’s the first person to help.”
According to the outlet, Walker and Dave have become friends and the newest member of the family has adjusted well. Besides mother and son, the family includes father Jim, sister Lauren, 22, brother Chase, 12 – and two other rescue dogs.
One is an Australian Cattle Dog Mastiff mix named Doug, while the other, named Darry, is an American Bully. Mindy said Walker’s message to anyone who wants a pet is to consider adopting animals instead of buying them from pet stores.