Rocky, our thirteen year old, has gone stone-cold deaf. He could hear four weeks ago, but now he can’t hear a thing. For those of you who don’t know, Rocky is our Golden Retriever. He’s 91 in people years. It’s not surprising that his hearing has left him.
I wanted to take Rocky for a walk down the street to pick up a Karen Kingsbury book that one friend had borrowed and another friend was picking up. JeannaLynn has this underground library and loans out the Baxter Family journals to all the BA’s we know (Baxter Addicts).
I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to be able to communicate with him in the struggle of his hearing loss. That made me think.
Rocky was stubborn when I told him I wanted him get up and walk with me. He is resistant because before his ears went bad, his hips grew wide and his joints grew old. He sees no point in exerting the tremendous effort to stand up if it is for something less important than food or greeting the kids. He laid there until I told him enough times with enough emphasis to get up and come with me. There have been a few times that I’ve talked to Rocky recently only to remember that my words were falling on deaf ears. That wasn’t the case here, however. I really told him to get up and come with me. I just didn’t use words, I used hand motions.
With the correct movement of a hand, Rocky will stand, sit, heel, walk, stop, stay, crawl, rollover, play dead, lay down, shake, high five and hug.
It is important to learn how to speak and listen to each other as a couple before the time comes when you have trouble hearing each other. You have to develop your holy conversation style outside the moments of conflict so that you use them inside the moments of conflict. If you wait until it is hard to hear each other before you work on developing an effective communication style, you’ll likely be very disappointed with your interaction when the differences and disagreements arise.