Trupanion Celebrates Service Dogs: Ravi and Laurel’s Story

Trupanion is always excited to hear of special relationships between pets and their owners. Ravi, a scruffy stray roaming for a place to live, found an opportunity to change the life of others by becoming a Hearing Assistance Dog. He proved to be an intelligent and well-mannered dog by Dogs for the Deaf and eventually went on to meet his best friend, Laurel, who needed him just as much as he needed her.

After wandering the streets of California, an animal shelter picked up a stray dog and contacted Dogs for the Deaf to figure out a possible opportunity. The organization works with dogs to provide effective training in assistance for the deaf and hard of hearing. With seven months of love and training down Ravi’s collar, he passed his test to become a Hearing Assistance Dog.

Ravi was matched with Laurel, a Seattle woman who was hard of hearing. To ensure his safety and comfort, Dogs for the Deaf interviewed Laurel, as they do with any future candidates. Her house was inspected to be sure it had a fenced yard and no other pets were living there. Laurel then agreed to maintain a healthy life for Ravi by providing healthcare, grooming and training.

Ravi and Laurel spent five days getting to know each other, with the help of a representative from Dogs for the Deaf. That week, the new pair practiced Ravi’s training techniques focusing on ongoing daily sounds with one-on-one help from her DFD representative. Just by a light touch of his paws, he becomes a part of every task that happens in Laurel’s household.

Each day, Ravi wakes up Laurel at the sound of her alarm. As she prepares for her day, he stays close to inform her of any sound: the possible sound of a fire alarm or a knock at the door. Ravi will investigate the sound, and then inform her in the best way possible by a gentle tap on her leg with his paw and leading her to the commotion. On his way to work with Laurel, he sports his bright orange vest and leash, making everyone around him aware of how special he is. In case that isn’t enough to let people know he is a service dog, Laurel carries around a Guide to Assistance Guide Dogs and an up-to-date ID card to protect his and her rights.

Since they’ve been together, Ravi has traveled to Michigan with Laurel. He spends the day napping at her feet while she tends to her work. The pair has become quite close because they need each other equally.

Trupanion celebrates the bond between Laurel and Ravi and the bond between all dogs and their companions. What makes the bond between you and your pet special? Leave a comment or send your story to mytrustory@trupanion.com.

About Heather @FamilyAndFur

Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue. Google+

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