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Deaf Dog Abandoned At A Gas Station Was Given A Second Chance When He Learned Sign Language

The hurricanes that ripped through the country earlier this year not only destroyed people's homes, but also displaced thousands of pets. As heartbreaking as it is, many animals were left behind in the commotion. Scruffy was one of the unfortunate dogs who lost his home, but that wasn't all he lost.

Scruffy was found at a gas station in Houston, Texas, after hurricane Harvey destroyed so much of the city. He had nowhere to go and no one seemed to be looking for him. The problem wasn't only that Scruffy was homeless, he was also sick. His ears were severely infected when he was brought into the shelter, but they knew he deserved a chance at a happy life.

Steve Somerville/Metroland

Scruffy was one of 40 dogs that were taken in by the rescue agency Redemption Paws, who brought the animals up to Canada to give them the medical attention they so badly needed. Now that he was safe, he just needed somewhere to stay while they looked for his forever home. They found someone to foster him, but while he's been there, he has picked up some unique skills that very few dogs would know...

Marina Bourguingnon wanted to help, and while she wasn't ready to adopt a new dog, she figured she could foster one until they found him a perfect home. Scruffy arrived, looking like "the Tramp from Lady and the Tramp" and was sweet as can be. The only thing was that his ear infection had caused him some minor hearing loss.

Luckily, Bourguingnon was ready for the challenge that came with fostering the deaf pup and found a way to communicate with him that worked well. She began teaching him simple commands using sign language, and he picked up faster than anyone could have anticipated.

Steve Somerville/Metroland

"I'm learning, too, as I go along," she said. "He's a beautiful dog. He's so loving. I don't understand why he isn't adopted yet. There's nothing wrong with him except that he's deaf and he just learned sign language. He knows come, he knows sit, he knows lay down, he knows quiet. He learns fast."

Bourguignon also took in another foster named Jade, who was also deaf. The two fosters are helping her recover from the recent loss of her own dogs, Aussie and Tank, who both passed away earlier in the year, just weeks apart from each other. While she isn't emotionally ready to commit to another dog herself, she wants these sweet dogs to find new homes. "He's an easygoing boy. There's nothing wrong with him. He's very sweet, he's very loving and all he wants to do is just love you and be loved."

If you are interested in giving Scruffy his forever home, you can find out more about him on their website.

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at