Local Man with Hearing Loss Gets Service Dog from Dogs for the D - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Man with Hearing Loss Gets Service Dog from Dogs for the Deaf

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A local man with hearing loss can rest easy now with a new, furry companion by his side. A local man with hearing loss can rest easy now with a new, furry companion by his side.

WEST RICHLAND, WA - A local man with hearing loss can rest easy now with a new, furry companion by his side. 

Otto the dog, and Vincent Fitzpatrick, his new owner are both learning a lot these days.

It has only been a few days since Otto, the former shelter dog has been at his new home training a lot but also getting to know his new family.

Otto's trainer, Jenny Nickelson will spend five days helping them get acquainted, she has trained Otto for the last six months. 

"I knew that Otto and Vincent were a perfect match after... I mean I knew pretty much immediately," Nickelson said. 

Dogs for the Deaf is a nonprofit out of Central Point, Oregon. They train hearing dogs to alert their owner of sounds around the house and while out and about, like when the phone rings or alarm goes off but also when someone is calling for help.

"Sally was working in the kitchen, the knife slipped off the counter, hit her in the foot and she started calling for help. I'm upstairs in the office and I never heard and there was no way for her to notify me," explained Fitzpatrick.

After that scary accident a couple of years ago, the couple decided they needed help and mow could not be happier to have Otto in their lives. 

"That was a birthday present and Christmas present all wrapped up in one," said Fitzpatrick. 

"Seeing all the pieces come together is so valuable to me and then people always ask, is it really hard to leave the dogs and no! Because you're seeing what a big help they're going to be and what they're going to do for these clients, it's amazing," explained Nickelson.

The couple will be doing some traveling this year and they are excited to bring Otto along.

For more information Dogs for the Deaf click here. 

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