McGrady, or “McGrady, the Fabulous Deaf Dog” as he’s known on Facebook, was not only our namesake but he wasthe 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.

In late February 2022, it was discovered that McGrady had liver cancer. Luckily, the skilled surgeon at CARE Charlotte found it was all localized to a single lobe of the liver. Once that was removed, he was found to be cancer-free! McGrady and his Mom had what she called a “bonus year” (and more) in which McGrady’s fighting spirit showed through and he got back to his wonderful self. However, in Summer 2023, he developed rapidly-worsening kidney failure. On 9/14/2023, McGrady made it clear that his work here on Earth was done and so his Mom and the wonderful staff at Mallard Creek Animal Hospital let him go peacefully.

Not only did he serve as a mascot for this Foundation, he also became certified as a Therapy Dog by 2 different organizations! He first served as part of a Reading Dog Team (along with his canine brother, Sydney) at Cabarrus County Public Library. He later served at Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte then later became a member of the CLT Canine Crew, Charlotte International Airport’s Therapy Dog Team!