Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thumbs up means she's a good girl.

A 10-year-old Norfolk collie named Peggy was unable to continue herding sheep when she became deaf at age 8. Peggy's owner subsequently relinquished her to the care of a local animal shelter, where animal welfare manager Chloe Shorten and her husband Jason took her home. They already had two other sheepdogs, and soon realized that Peggy wasn't happy woolgathering, so they came up with another solution.
Chloe remembers, "We started by teaching her to look at us for hand signals." Peggy eventually learned to respond to body language instead of traditional verbal commands. Chloe says it took time for Peggy to "learn that we love her, and understand our praise." These days, while Peggy is semi-retired, she still heads out with the flock from time to time, happy in the knowledge that a "thumbs up" means she's a good girl.

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