Story originally from CBS News.
As 10-year-old Julia made her way through the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA in January, she couldn’t hear any of the rescued canines barking and yipping at her. She couldn’t hear any information the staff had to give about the dogs, either – and that’s because Julia was born deaf.
So Julia wandered the shelter, looking for the perfect pup to take home. Then, she found something unexpected: a terrier-Chihuahua puppy named Walter who was born deaf – just like Julia.
The two were a match made in dog-heaven.
“When I first held Julia,” the girl’s mother recalls, “since she couldn’t really hear my voice, she would smell my neck. And when I first held Walter, he did almost the exact same thing. I remember just looking at him, and I just – I knew he was meant to be ours.”
But this fairy-tale story doesn’t end there – it gets even sweeter. Since bringing Walter home, Julia has begun teaching Walter sign language. As of now, seven-month-old Walter understands the “sit” command, how to ask for food, and his own name – all in sign language.
A staff-member at the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA said that many people had passed on Walter, uninterested in a dog who couldn’t hear. But to Julia, Walter’s disability made him no less valuable. Julia hasn’t let her lack of hearing slow her down, and she’s clearly determined to ensure the same for Walter.
She posted a video of Walter’s signing lessons to Facebook, which instantly went viral, garnering 10,000 shares and over 250,000 views.
“They’re the same,” says Julia’s mom. “[Julia’s] learned a whole other kind of love.”
You can see Julia and Walter in action in this heart-warming video from CBS here:
You can also visit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA’s website here: