It was at the beginning of 2014 that I found myself being surrendered to a Kentucky high-kill shelter by my owner. Since I was born on February 7th, 2014, I was only about one year of age, and I had only known one home. My person(s) didn’t or couldn’t find the time to housetrain me. Also, I was born deaf due to my lack of pigmentation – I was born all white with sky blue eyes. I would need someone with experience, time, willingness, and love to train me. My breed was listed as a Boxer, and when I eventually was chosen to be relocated to the Adams County Humane Society in January of 2015, I didn’t have any idea where I was headed to and if I would ever find my forever home. My name when I arrived at the ACHS was Cricket, and the staff put me up for adoption in hopes I would find a loving home soon, but it wasn’t until April 17th, 2017 that I would be adopted.
My parents-to-be, Rose and Alex Bonk had been through a lot in 2014. The house they lived in caught on fire and burnt down and their eight-year-old Boxer perished in the fire. They were missing their dog very much and wanted to adopt another Boxer, but the apartment complex they were living at then didn’t allow pets; however, as soon as they found another home, they went in search of another Boxer. Although they were checking surrounding rescues and Petfinder they didn’t find a Boxer until they went online and saw my picture and bio on Adams County Humane Society’s Facebook page. Once Rose and Alex came to the humane society to meet me, they took me for a walk along the trail, and it didn’t take them long to know we were the perfect match. The only problem was that they couldn’t take me with them that day; they had to wait until they had moved into their new house. It was hard for them to leave without me and so Rose and Alex sponsored the female dog in the kennel next to my kennel in hopes it would help get her adopted as well. That is the kind of people my new folks are. The Bonks are caring, and responsible people and I am so happy they chose me.
Adoption day came, and finally, I went to my new home and was given the name of Herring since it was a new beginning for all of us. At first, I slept on a blanket in the corner because I guess I had been kenneled for so long that to have so much space sort of made me nervous. Eventually, I came out of my shell. Rose will tell you, “By June or July, Herring came to know he belonged to them.” It also took me a couple of months of training and close supervision to get me housetrained. Of course, it helps if you have human parents that are patient, loving, and above all, have treats!! My favorite treat is shredded cheese, and Rose will tell you it helps me listen to commands; however, there are times I do this “no listening thing” when mom says I don’t want to listen to a command! I guess you could compare me to acting like a two-year-old human child when I act like that. But Rose and Alex love me wholeheartedly anyway. My mom, Rose will tell you, “We took Herring outside to potty every two hours and gradually lengthened the time in between.” Mom and dad also took me to puppy training classes so I could learn all the basic dog manners; however, I was the oldest pupil, but that didn’t bother me. I did have to become more socialized around other dogs though, and mom and dad had friends with dogs that I could play with, and I got to go to the park and meet new dogs. The only time I got nervous at the park was when I would think mom or dad wasn’t nearby. I didn’t want to lose my family ever again.
Rose and Alex did have another pet at their home when I first arrived. They have a bearded dragon that is two years of age and named Higgins. He and I have become friends, and we have bonded! After I was adopted, the Bonds adopted another Boxer on January 9th, 2018 and named her Arleen. She is so pretty because she has brindle coloring and she is about two years old. When my mom and dad took me to introduce me to Arleen, we hit it off right away and so now I have a sister! Of course, there were times when Arleen and I “argued,” but we would make up. Arleen likes to keep me close. Rose says, “Arleen will sleep with Herring and lays on top of him at times or makes sure she lays a paw somewhere on Herring. Maybe it’s a protection thing.” I guess you might say Arleen knows I am deaf and has become a guide dog for me. She barks at me to get my attention, and when something gets her attention like when we get company, I know to follow her and her body language. Mom and dad have put a fence up for safety reasons since I am deaf. I am so very happy with my home and family! Rose and Alex take such good care of me, and I love Arleen and Higgins too!
Rose says, “Herring is good with our nieces and nephews. He is so good with children. Alex never had a shelter dog before and adopting Herring has changed his mind about shelter dogs. There are so many great shelter dogs to be adopted. We knew that having a deaf dog would come with its challenges, but with a lot of love and patience he turned out to be the best dog! We would adopt another deaf dog again from a shelter if given a chance.”