When looking at Vonna DeLong’s interview for Can Do Canines, there is one big takeaway, which is a wonderful endorsement for lap dogs: bigger is not always better. In this case, Bonnie is the poster child. She is a lovely Pomeranian/Papillion mix Hearing Assistance Dog. Her keen alert skills are giving Vonna and her family great peace of mind in terms of her feeling safe when alone. Independence for people with special needs is something that Can Do Canines provides.
Vonna’s history with assistance dogs is impressive. Her need for them arose when she lost her hearing in adulthood following a bout with scarlet fever in her teen years. Her hearing declined steadily until she realized the need for hearing aids, and then decided that an assistance dog became a priority.
Possibly one of the first recipients of a hearing assistance dog in the state, Vonna’s first Hearing Assistance Dog, Cody, was a 110-pound German Shepherd she had for 14 years. Her second Hearing Assistance Dog, Lady, was also a large 70-pound pup, so when the idea of a tiny Bonnie came around, Vonna was a tad uncertain.
Vonna tells us, “I thought I needed a bigger dog but I found out very quickly I didn’t. This one’s the right size.” When asked about Bonnie’s performance as a Hearing Assistance Dog, Vonna is very complimentary. “I didn’t expect a small dog to be this intelligent. She doesn’t miss anything, and is a great alerter to strange sounds in the house.”
Vonna is quick to stress the fact that an assistance dog from Can Do Canines comes at no charge, except for the application fee; she makes sure we’re aware of the fact that in other states the cost can be prohibitive. “I believe it is one of the greatest gifts that can be given.” From Bonnie’s perspective? Probably receiving the best belly scratches from mom!
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser—Rosa Yang
Special Thanks— Nancy Jaecklein