A man who was born deaf adopted a deaf puppy and taught him sign language.
Nick Abbott, 31, of Maine, told WABI-5 that he saw a Facebook post about the puppy, named Emerson, and knew he wanted to meet him.
“I said, ‘Oh, he’s deaf, too,'” Abbott told the TV station. “Maybe I can go check him out to see what he’s all about.”
Emerson was rescued from Florida by NFRMaine, a foster-based dog rescue, when he was six weeks old. WABI-5 reports that Emerson experienced seizures and was infected with parvo, which can be fatal if it isn’t treated.
NFR Maine said once they got Emerson, they realized he had hearing difficulties. All of his siblings were adopted quickly, but “our sweet boy Emerson” was still looking for a home, the Facebook post said.
It was that post that drew Abbott to visit Emerson, and he told WABI-5 that the pup came right up to him and sat by his feet.
“He kind of picked me. And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good,” he said.
Abbott has been teaching Emerson sign language commands, including commands for “sit” and “lie down.”
And, whenever Abbott shakes his ear lobe, Emerson barks, Abbott’s mom said.
“We understand each other very well,” Abbott told WABI-5. “I’d like to think it was meant to be. He’s special.”