Published On: Wed, Jun 4th, 2014 on 9:00 am

‘Lifesaving’ dog Baz becomes a local celebrity in Leeds

Hearing Dog Baz With Anne

Anne Barrick with six-year-old Baz

Hearing Dogs Leeds Specsavers

Volunteers of the Hearing Dogs charity with Leeds Specsavers staff

Hearing Dog Baz With AnneHearing Dogs Leeds Specsavers

A six-year-old dog named Baz who helped his owner overcome isolation has become a star following a trip down to the city centre.

The Havanese cross Cavalier visited the hearing department of Leeds Specsavers on Albion Street to mark the 32nd anniversary of the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

He came along with owner Anne Barrick, who became deaf following cancer treatment.

When she was a teenager, Ms Barrick had a malignant tumour blocking her eustachian tube and in 2002, she was diagnosed with cancer for a second time, which took a blow to her confidence and self-esteem.

When Baz came, he completely changed Ms Barrick’s outlook on life.

She told the Yorkshire Standard: “Since Baz arrived, my life transformed. I was depressed before, but now I can’t even stop smiling.

“I used to be frightened to go out, but now I have the confidence to go and make friends too.”

When the phone or doorbell rings, Baz puts his paws on Ms Barrick’s lap and leads her to the area of noise. If there’s an emergency, he warns her by getting her attention and lying down when she asks what’s the matter.

Ms Barrick added: “I never miss a call thanks to Baz. I’ve even had the confidence to go to Belfast with him where he had a seat next to me. He is a lifesaver.”

The Hearing Dogs for Deaf People charity was established in 1982, and has paired over 1,600 hearing dogs with people affected by a hearing impairment.

Each dog spends its first year socialising with volunteers so that it becomes accustomed to travelling by public transport and walking in busy places, such as supermarkets.

It is followed by several weeks of training at one of the county’s two Hearing Dogs centres, where dogs are taught to react in particular ways to certain sounds so that they can enhance the life of their owner.

Commenting on the visit, hearing director Amrit Rehal at Leeds Specsavers, said: “The charity’s impending visit to the store was a fantastic opportunity for the public to appreciate the huge difference these hearing dogs make to the lives of the deaf and those with impaired hearing in our community.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

Displaying 1 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Anne Barrick says:

    Thank you, Hasan, I love the photos. I hope the article raises awareness re hearing dog charity.

    Wishes Anne and Baz.

Leave a comment

Your comment will be approved before it is published.

Comments containing profanity, spam or web links will NOT be approved.