McGrady, or “McGrady, the Fabulous Deaf Dog” as he’s known on Facebook, is not only our namesake but he’s the driving force/inspiration behind everything we do! He came into our founder’s life on March 6, 2010, when he was initially pulled by her from Ashe County Animal Control in Crumpler NC. By the time our founder discovered McGrady on Petfinder, he’d been at the shelter 35 days despite the fact that there was only a mandatory 7-day stray hold. Very shortly after his adoption, it was discovered that he was completely deaf. Never having worked with a deaf dog before, our founder set about researching the subject of deaf dogs on the internet and was surprised by some of the negative comments regarding deaf dogs….none of which fit the eager, laidback dog lying at her feet. Having trained several dogs using Clicker Training (which includes hand signals), she quickly decided to use those signals but www.deafdogs.org suggested using a “Thumbs Up” Sign instead of a clicker to mark desired behaviors. McGrady proved a VERY quick study. The degree of relief that he felt when he realized that he knew for sure that he knew what his new guardian wanted was obvious as slowly McGrady started to show his “inner goofball”
Until early 2011, McGrady’s mom felt his “reason for being” was to serve as an AmbassaDog for deaf dogs but that changed when she found out that McGrady’s former shelter was running very low on food and did not have the large network of volunteer or donor resources she’d thought they did. This prompted a food & supply drive for his former shelter. It was then that McGrady’s mom realized that McGrady’s other reason for being was to serve as a voice for needs for rural shelters in the Carolinas who work hard to save every adoptable animal but need more resources to do so.
Outside running his own Foundation, McGrady’s interest/volunteer activities include:
-Therapy Dog, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte (along with his pack mate, Sydney)
-Reading Tails Dog, Cabarrus County Public Library, Concord NC
-Appearances in MANY fundraising calendars, including for: Rogers’ Rescues (NJ), Carolina Hearts Aussie Rescue (SC), and Petco Foundation (National)
-Hiking & Serving as his Mom’s Photographic Muse (for treats, of course)