June 2018 Herald Sun
STANZA wears his new orange collar with pride. A whippet cross, Stanza was presented with his collar to mark his graduation from training as an Australian Lions Hearing Dog. A helper and companion for local woman Dianne Wadsworth, Stanza was trained thanks to support from Frankston Lions Club. Members visited Ms Wadsworth’s house regularly to check that Stanza responded to a variety of sounds including the door bell, boiling kettle and smoke alarm.
“Australian Lions Hearing Dogs are trained to respond to a variety of sounds, generally around the home which they alert their owners to,” Lions member Julie Swan said.
“They hear the sound, locate the sound and then return to alert their owner by touching the owner with either one or two paws.” Ms Wadsworth has a Cochlear implant to assist with hearing.
She initially had a hearing dog named George, who passed away, before Stanza came into her life.
“He is a very loveable dog and very cheeky. He makes me laugh a lot,” Ms Wadsworth said.
“He is also a very hard worker. He is good at responding to the sounds I need.” Ms Swan said Ms Wadsworth and Stanza shared a close bond. “He follows her everywhere,” she said.