Gypsy :: Hearing Dog

Gypsy was partnered with MK resident Janet Durbidge who is profoundly deaf and does not benefit from hearing aids. Janet relied on Gypsy 100% to alert her to everyday sounds in Janet’s own silent world, including wildlife on their walks, which Janet appreciates.

Gypsy was a rescue dog from RSPCA in Cardiff as one of a litter that had been dumped. She was the lucky one out of the litter when Hearing Dogs chose her for her alertness to sounds at the age of 3 months. She was taken to the Selby training centre in Yorkshire before being partnered with Janet at the age of one.

Gypsy loves meeting people and she is very gentle with children so she is very popular with them on outings. Gypsy was Hearing Dog of the Month in March 2005. She also won Rescue Hearing Dog of the Year in June 2008.

Gypsy has now retired and Janet writes:

Gypsy reached the age of 13 in February 2015, so she is now retired and I am on the waiting list for a new Hearing Dog. Meanwhile, Gypsy will become my husband’s pet dog.
I was very emotional when I handed over Gypsy’s working jacket, but we have had some wonderful years together, and she has been my “ears” throughout, despite going through two cruciate ligament injuries in the last two years, from which she has made a full recovery. She deserves a long and happy retirement.
My highlights with Gypsy were starting the Milton Keynes and District Branch of Hearing Dogs and meeting the Queen just a year later, when Gypsy received a Royal pat, not forgetting Gypsy’s award as Rescue Hearing Dog of the Year, We accompanied speaker Joan Harrington to many talks in rural Buckinghamshire, and we went on to help Carl Morris raise more funds all over the UK. Gypsy was at my side at all times for fundraising and awareness,  and she was very popular with children.
Her sound work has always been excellent, however, I think she is going a bit deaf now or she is just lazy in her old age! She sleeps a lot these days and manages very short walks.

Hal :: Puppy

Hal - 9 weeks old

Hal is a Show Cocker Spaniel and is now 11 weeks old (November 2012). He is black and tan in colour and is being socialised by Mary.

At 9 weeks old he went up to the Specsavers Hearing Dog Awards show and had a cuddle with the compare, John Barrowman. His pictures can be seen on Facebook on the Hearing Dog website

He has also been on 3 collection days and visited a brownie group. So, in the couple of weeks Mary has had him he has been very busy and is proving very popular. He already sits to the hand signal and has been out on his lead for the first time where everything is new and interesting.

We will keep you updated with his training.

Libby :: Puppy

Libby at The Grange Summer Fair 2012

Libby is a Labrador cross Retriever – a distant cousin of Clive and comes from the same breeder, based in Ireland. With an amazing set of razor sharp teeth and a wicked sense of humour, she gallops through the house, carrying her stuffed toy. At 9 weeks she was a star at the Grange late summer fair, raising funds by giving cuddles to all comers. She is a quick learner and at 10 weeks, sat and lay down to hand signals. She currently has more courage that sense and approaches every day as a new adventure.

Libby has now (November 2012) reached the stage where she can attend Hearing Dog presentations and fund raising events with confidence. She is turning into a good ambassador once she has had the chance to greet any other dogs present.

Freddy :: Puppy

Freddy - sm image

Freddy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – black & tan in colour and is being socialised by one of our members, Mary in Newton Longville. He was donated along with his brother to The Grange by their breeder.

Freddy is now 16 weeks old (April 2012) and a lovely little chap. He is a very affectionate dog and adores children and adults. He has started his socialising and puppy classes and has already helped the Milton Keynes branch raise money on two flag days.

He has also visited two schools to help out with talks and visited a brownie group – so in the 8 weeks Mary has had Freddy he has been very busy.

Mary is pleased to say that Freddy passed his puppy socialising 1 star award with merit on the 16th May 2012 and now he has also passed his 2 star award he is now eligible to wear his puppy-in-training coat. Here is a photo of him looking very smart.

Freddy Aug 2012

He is a lovely dog, very eager to please and continues to enjoy his training. Freddy has been to many events, helping to raise money at collection days in the local shopping and garden centres. He has also visited fetes, schools, brownies events and enjoys meeting everyone and being stroked. He is great friends with Clive, one of the other puppies being socialised by a member of our branch, and although Clive is much bigger than Freddy they are the best of pals.

Freddy passed his 2 star test with distinction on 28th June 2012.

Freddy has now been accepted onto the next stage of his training which will be at the Grange and will start on 12th November 2012.

Mary says Freddy has been a delight to train.

He has a lovely nature, very kind and caring and I will miss him very much. I wish him the very best of luck with the next stage of his training to become a fully fledged Hearing Dog.

Clive :: Puppy


This is Clive at nine weeks old. He is a black Labrador/retriever and as his socialisers – we have no say in the puppy’s name.

He and his sister were donated to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People by Guide Dogs for the Blind in Ireland, when they found they had run out of room in their training programme. His sister is being socialised in Southampton.

He has only been with Chris and Dorcas for two days but quickly settled down and is already proving to be an enthusiastic gardener and electrician! He will be attending puppy classes at The Grange every fortnight and hopes to go on lots of interesting walks with other dogs.

Hopefully, his good looks and soulful eyes will also help to raise funds at a variety of events.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People have created a new set of qualifications for the puppies and once they have passed the second star award they can wear a coat that says they are a puppy in training.

Clive 2012

Clive was the first puppy to take the first star award on the 28th November 2011 and passed with distinction. Hopefully he will be able to take the second star in February 2012. He is a calm gentle puppy who is growing rapidly. He loves children and enjoys going around the shops and attending talks. He received his rosette on 11th January at puppy class and is very proud.

Clive has now made it through his 2 weeks at puppy boot camp, where he made a great connection with Sally, his trainer. She says he is a quick learner; he enjoys the training and is a real gentleman. He is currently at the start of his “sound work” where he learns to distinguish various sounds and take the appropriate action. During this period, Sally will start to prepare him for his role with his deaf recipient.

Clive has passed his foundation and started to bond with his new recipient. He has continued to grow and is something of a monster dog or as his trainer says – a real gentle giant. He will be demonstrating his skills to his socialisers in early December before leaving to work with his new recipient.

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