Everyone knows what services guide dogs perform for blind people, but few are aware that there are hearing-ear dogs for the hearing-impaired. Animals trained by Dogs for the Deaf, a nonprofit division of Applegate Behavior Station Inc., are carefully selected and taught to respond to a doorbell, a knock on the door, a ringing telephone, a smoke or fire alarm, an oven buzzer, an alarm clock and other sounds--such as a baby's cries, a prowler, or one's name being called--depending on the special needs of the owner. When the dog hears a sound, it goes to its owner and places its paw on the person's thigh, and then leads the way to the source. If the owner is asleep, the dog will awaken him.
Dogs for the Deaf is a nationwide program, and dogs are placed at no cost. Each recipient must meet specific requirements concerning health and home environment; there is a 12- to 18-month waiting list.
For information, or to offer donations (which are fully deductible), write to Dogs for the Deaf, 13260 Highway 238, Jacksonville, Ore. 97530, or telephone (503) 899-7177 or, for the hearing impaired, (503) 846-6783 (TTY).