When a Great Dane named Hogan was born deaf and visually impaired, his future seemed uncertain. He was part of a “mistake litter” and was surrendered by the breeder to a Great Dane rescue organization. Fortunately for Hogan, Crystal and her family were contacted by the rescue and asked if they would be interested in adopting him. When Crystal and her family met the pup, it was love at first sight. Crystal was determined to give Hogan the fullest life possible, filled with adventures and experiences he might otherwise miss out on.
Crystal and her family quickly realized that Hogan was not only deaf but also visually impaired. The vet determined that Hogan’s pupils were underdeveloped, causing major light sensitivity. This led to Hogan running into parked cars and falling off curbs. Crystal couldn’t figure out why Hogan seemed to see shadows or objects moving strangely, but she found a solution: doggles. These dog goggles seemed to improve Hogan’s vision during daylight hours.
To communicate with Hogan, Crystal and her family use a vibrating collar. When Hogan feels the collar vibrate, he knows to come back and check in with his family. The sensation is similar to a Fitbit vibrating on someone’s wrist. Crystal also uses sign language to communicate with Hogan, but because of his visual impairment, she has to use large, exaggerated signs. Some of the signs are ones they’ve made up themselves to accommodate Hogan’s unique needs. He has learned commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “paw,” “away,” and “off.” They are also working on teaching him several more.
Despite his challenges, Hogan is a happy-go-lucky dog who just wants to be close to his family. Crystal believes he is very intuitive and knows what she needs when she needs it the most. Hogan loves snuggling, though it takes him a while to calm down when he gets excited about receiving affection. Crystal’s family has five rescue animals, and Hogan, at 98 pounds, is still filling out compared to Crystal’s previous Great Danes, who weighed 160 and 140 pounds.
Crystal and her family are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to adopt Hogan. He brings light and happiness into their lives and enriches their family in ways they never expected. Hogan has a beautiful soul that continues to shine as bright as the sun.
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