How a deaf dog became an agility champ with a little love and a lot of creativity.

Meet Seven. She's an adorable dog whose original owners gave her up after learning that she was deaf.

When Adina MacRae heard this, she made it her personal goal to prove to the world that her dog could do anything a hearing dog could do.


Image by Adina MacRae/Facebook, used with permission.

Adina rescued now-9-year-old Seven when she was three months old. She saw potential in the endearing pup, and boy was she right.

Earlier this month, Seven earned an Agility Trial Champion of Canada title — an amazing feat for any dog, but especially impressive for a pooch that is deaf.

Seven can't rely on whistles or finger snaps for training, so she and Adina had to develop a body language of their own. In order to even be considered for this title, Seven had to win every other title at the starter, advanced, and masters levels of competitive agility. It's taken years and many, many training sessions. She's put in some serious work!

Coincidentally, her name is Seven and this big moment came exactly seven years and one day after her first agility qualifying score.

Watch the agility champ in action showcasing some of the obstacles she had to master:

She can jump hurdles.

All GIFs via The Canadian Press.

She weaves through poles.

She balances herself on a teeter-totter.

And she makes her way through tunnels.

Adina says Seven's inability to hear actually made her easier to train because there were fewer distractions.

Seven mostly relies on hand gestures. Her favorite is the thumbs-up because it lets her know she did a good job. More importantly, it means she's getting a treat.

Now that she's won this big award, Seven will most likely retire from her agility career. Seven is 9 now, so Adina knew the window of opportunity was closing for her to win this challenge. And they do say it's better to go out when you're on top.

Adina hopes Seven's story encourages more people to consider rescuing pets with disabilities and to think big about what they're capable of.

"Seven is a special dog to me because she taught me the value of communicating with dogs on their terms instead of using spoken word. This has helped me be more in tune to dogs and what they are trying to tell us," Adina said.

Seven receiving her ATChC title. Image by Adina MacRae, used with permission.

On that note, congrats, Seven! You proved your former owners wrong by not only being good enough, but being the best.

Thanks for reminding us that many of our limits can be overcome with lots of effort and a little bit of extra love.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
via Amelia J / Twitter

Election Day is a special occasion where Americans of all walks of life come together to collectively make important decisions about the country's future. Although we do it together as a community, it's usually a pretty formal affair.

People tend to stand quietly in line, clutching their voter guides. Politics can be a touchy subject, so most usually stand in line like they're waiting to have their number called at the DMV.

However, a group of voters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a lot of love on social media on Sunday for bringing a newfound sense of joy to the voting process.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less