By Daily Mail Reporter
Pet owner Lynne Chapman found the paw-fect solution for her deaf dog Snowy, by teaching her sign language.
Kind-hearted Lynn adopted Snowy four years ago after visiting an animal shelter and finding out that she could not hear any vocal commands.
Determined to give her a proper doggie life the great grandmother borrowed sign language tips from a family friend and slowly began tutoring the hard-of-hearing Staffordshire-cross.
Watch this: Lynne Chapman has successfully taught her Staffordshire Bull Terrier sign language
Gradually Snowy began to understand the signs for commands such as 'up', 'food', 'home' and 'bedtime'.
Lynne, 62, from Sale, Greater Manchester, said: 'If people who are hard of hearing have to communicate by sing language the there is no reason why a dog can't learn it too and my Snowy has come on leaps and bounds.'
'I have always had animals and when I visited the shelter and saw her four years ago. The poor thing looked such a pathetic mess.
'I felt so sorry for her being deaf so I wanted to let her get to know me first.
'I used to sit outside her cage and she used to come up to me wagging her tail. She also has a bent leg and her eye is a little wonky, but I knew I wanted her as soon as I saw her.
'So I told the shelter that when she comes out of quaratine I wanted to take her in.'
Retired care home worker Lynne, was told by the animal shelter that Snowy had been mistreated by her previous owners who didn't realise she was deaf and just assumed she was a naughty dog.
Poor Snowy would even end up sleeping for up to 24 hours at a time because there was no noise to wake her up.
After a month in quarantine due to a skin disorder, Lynne signed the papers to take her in. Snowy settled in well but one day whilst in the garden she escaped after being scared by passing school children and ran down the road.
Although Lynne ran out and tried to call her, she realised that Snowy couldn't hear her and would have to come up with another way to communicate with her.
Snowy was a little nervous at first in her new home, but soon she settled in, but Lynne realised after she ran off from the garden one day that she would have to think of a different way to communicate with her.
She said: 'I remember one day Snowy ran off and I was chasing her and shouting at her to come back, and then I thought, "why am I shouting at her? She can't hear me!"
'So I stopped running and so did she. She turned round and I started signaling her to come back, and she responded straight away.
'Since then I have used signs to communicate with her. She has a mad half hour every so often when she goes all mischevious, running around the house and going silly but she's only playing.
'My 14-year old grandaughter Emily is great with Snowy and has been helping me sign to her. In fact Emily is better with Snowy because she has a friend who is deaf and she teaches her new commands whenever she comes round.'
Obedience: Lynne signs the command 'play' (left) and 'food' (right) to Snowy at her Manchester home
Lynne, who has seven grandkids and one great grandson, Joseph, 14 months old, now has a number of commands that Snowy responds to.
She added: 'Snowy knows signs such as "come here", "on my lap", "home", "no" and "food" - although she normally smells food when I put it down for her!
'I would love to be able to take her for a walk but she bites the lead as if it's a toy and growls hysterically if you try and put it on her, so I just let her run out in the garden.'
She said: 'She was cruelly treated before. That's because they didn't realise that she was deaf and thought that she was just a naughty dog.
'She's good in every other way but up until now I have to be in her sight or she has to be touching you to know what is going on.
The sign language has really helped.'
Julie Threlfall, who works at the Society for Abandoned Animals in Sale, where Snowy was adopted from, said: 'Snowy was a really nice little dog. I used to do volunteer dog walking and she was one of the dogs I looked after.
'I started teaching her little bits of basic sign but Lynne has obviously taken that to the next level.
'There is an official doggy sign language but it's whatever you can do to get them to understand you.
'I personally only know two other people with deaf dogs but they lead perfectly normal doggie lives with the help of sign.
'You do need a little extra patience with deaf animals but if you put in that little bit of time, like Lynne has with Snowy, it can make for a real happy ending.'