Cathy Krause & Hearing Assistance Dog Molly
Author: Hanna Kantor
Take a moment to muffle your ears and imagine a world in which you have very limited hearing. Everyday sounds are now beyond the capability of your ears. Simple sounds like an oven timer, a phone ringing, a knock at the door, and an alarm clock are all replaced by almost complete silence. This is the reality in which Saint Anthony, Minn. resident Cathy Krause lives. She was born completely deaf in one ear and has significant hearing loss in the other.
For Cathy, commonplace sounds are absent, forcing her to heavily rely upon her husband. Her alarm clock is so loud that she describes it as a “sonic boom”. Yet, she still wakes up in the early hours of the morning stressing over whether or not she will hear her alarm. Cathy’s husband often travels for his job leaving her alone in the house with their twelve-year-old poodle, Cinder. This causes the couple to fear for Cathy’s safety because no one is around to alert her to vital sounds.
Cathy learned about Can Do Canines online and soon after attended an assistance dog graduation. It was at this event she learned that Can Do Canines trained Hearing Assist Dogs. “I had lost so much hearing and wasn’t aware of regular sounds. I thought that it might be helpful to have a dog that could alert me to those things.” Just nine months after applying Cathy was paired with a two-and-a-half-year-old black Labrador named Molly. While many clients wait much longer to get paired with a dog, Cathy and Molly were matched quickly, and instantly a bond formed. Much to Cathy’s, relief Cinder and Molly became best friends. Cinder is careful not to interfere with Molly’s training.
“I think the most interesting thing is what a team you do become. Especially at work, she is just right there with me all the time.”
Molly has made Cathy’s life easier. She no longer fears sleeping through her alarm. “I just go to sleep and know she’s going to wake me up.” While Molly faithfully alerts Cathy to the sounds she has been taught, every once in a while she will alert to a sound on television – bells at school, or other random TV sounds. As a teacher in the Mounds View School system, Cathy had to train Molly to ignore the period bells so as not to draw extra attention to the pair.
Cathy now depends on Molly for the vital sounds of everyday life, allowing her husband to travel without worry and fear of what may happen. Molly has truly become a companion, a member of the family, and put the entire Krause family at ease.
“It’s a blessing. I know it is for me, and I’ve heard other people’s stories and I know it is for them as well. It really is a gift.”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Special Thanks – The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth
Dog Source – Armstrong Kennel