Deaf Dog Missing For 5 Months Reunites With Family In Texas After Staying In Minnesota
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers
No one really wanted to adopt a sweet, loving but deaf dog and her foster mom figured out why.

It was hard to figure out how a deaf pet dog could survive the streets and the owner of the one-year-old pointer boxer mix named Penelope was, in fact, losing hope that her pup would still be alive.

Penelope was just six months into her new home with Mandy Lyons in Texas when she went missing. Apparently, someone left Mandy's back gate open so Penelope was able to wander off.

Deaf dog in the shelter
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

That was around December 2017 and by January, Penelope found herself at the Harris County Animal Shelter in Houston. The shelters' director Kerry McKee told the press that the boxer mix stayed with them for a week before she was enlisted in the foster program.

Giselle Krohin, who was also from the area, temporarily took the dog in while waiting for someone to adopt her. She gave Penelope a new name, too, and called her Kiara because the pup reminded her of an old dog.

The deaf dog staying in Minnesota
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

But Giselle and Kiara had to wait and wait for a loving family to bring the dog to her new forever home.  Weeks became months and yet no one would still take her because of her condition.

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Deaf Dog Wasn't A Deal-Breaker

Meanwhile, Mandy recalls that when she adopted Penelope as a six-month-old pup, it did not bother her that the dog couldn't hear. The pet lover took the boxer in for the way she is and did not care that she's disabled.

The deaf dog was hard to adopt
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

But when Penelope ran off, Mandy feared the worst. She had horrible thoughts that cars might have run over Penelope because she wouldn't be able to hear the engines or car horns.  Mandy admitted that she wasn't expecting someone else would be able to rescue the dog.

Moving to Minnesota

When the boxer mix still had no takers, Ruff Start Rescue decided to bring her 2,614 miles to Minnesota to be with a new foster mom, Lexi Johnson. She also re-named the dog as Zooey.

Deaf dog is moving to Minnesota
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

Lexi said that they found Kiara to be a sweet and friendly dog. The foster mom also figured out that Zooey was deaf, but the dog understood hand signals and was properly house trained. With her adorable personality and her skills at reading hand signals, Lexi couldn't understand why nobody would like to welcome Zooey into their home.

Deaf dog making friends
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

Then it dawned on the foster mom: someone worked really hard to make sure that this dog was well-behaved, well-trained and knew basic commands. Zooey had already had a loving home and her owners could be wondering about her.

By a stroke of luck, someone on Facebook finally came forward to claim Zooey. It turned out to be the Johnsons.

Deaf dog reunited with his owners
Photo: Houston and Harris County Animal Volunteers

Returning Home

Mandy said that her husband saw Penelope in a Facebook post and without missing a beat, she posted a message to say that she was the dog's mom and they've been looking a while for her. So, Ruff Star Rescue got in touch with the Johnsons and after making a confirmation, they arranged for Penelope to travel back to Texas. Lexi and Giselle were also there to witness the reunion.

Lexi said that Penelope had to do a double-take when she saw her mom again, after being away for five months. It was as if the dog couldn't believe they would be reunited. Then Penelope went over to her mom and gave her a kiss after Mandy cuddled her. Everyone who watched them together cried happy tears as the two laid down on the grass, lost in each other’s eyes.

Lexi has been keeping in touch with the Johnsons since the reunion and they’re happy to tell the public who’ve watched their story unfold that they have gone back to their normal routines.

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Camden Savage is a Phoenix based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught her every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.