Deaf man adopts deaf rescue puppy and teaches him sign language

The following story about a man who is deaf and his pup will surely warm your heart. Maine native Nick Abbott, 31, has found the perfect companion in a dog who is much like him.

The man recently adopted Emerson – a black lab mix – from the foster-based rescue NFR Maine. But this adoption story is particularly special because the dog and his owner share a commonality – they are both deaf.

But before finding his way into Nick’s arms, Emerson dealt with a tough puppyhood. NFR Maine shared that when 6-week-old Emerson was found in the streets along with his siblings, he began to have seizures.

Richelle and Nick Abbott

When he was hospitalized, Emerson contracted parvovirus, a contagious infection affecting dogs that can be deadly if left untreated.

Thankfully, the pooch survived all of these illnesses and has made a full recovery. However, the rescue group was afraid that no one would take interest in Emerson when he was put up for adoption at 12 weeks old.

Aside from the fact that he became deaf, the dog was also visually impaired.

Richelle and Nick Abbott

“Once we got him home from the vet’s office from Florida, we realized he had hearing difficulties,” Lindsay Powers of NFR Maine told Good Morning America. “He doesn’t let it bother him at all, though he’s a typical puppy.”

But those worries soon vanished when Nick responded to NFR Maine’s Facebook post about Emerson needing a forever home

“Right off the bat he said, ‘I’m deaf also and I feel like we’d have a good connection,'” Powers recalled. Once she read Nick’s message, she processed his application within a day. 

“I was drawn to him right away because we had similarities. I felt I could understand him,” Nick told CBS News.

Richelle and Nick Abbott

And as it turns out, Nick was absolutely right. Their first meeting clearly showed that they were a match made in heaven. 

“He came straight to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there. So you can tell he kind of picked me. And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good,” Nick said.

After bringing home his new best friend, Nick began teaching Emerson how to communicate. Because they both can’t hear, vocal and sound cues wouldn’t be as effective, so Nick has been using sign language to teach Emerson commands such as “sit,” “lay down,” and “come”.

Richelle, Nick’s mom, told GMA: “If Nick reaches up and shakes his ear lobe, Emerson will bark — it’s so cute. It’s amazing. Whenever they’re together, Emerson is always finding a way to lean on Nick.”

Nick and Emerson
Richelle and Nick Abbott

Since then, Nick has created a joint Instagram account where people can follow his and Emerson’s adventures together. 

“Please follow Emmy and I on our journey though life together. We will share updates, new tricks learned, and our adventures!” he wrote in a recent post. 

As for NFR Maine, they said that this heartwarming meeting of two individuals goes down as one of their all-time favorite adoption stories.

It is ours, too! We’re so glad that Nick and Emerson found each other, and we can’t wait to see more of their journey ahead.

Truly, there is nothing more comforting than being with someone who is like you and who completely understands you, and that is what Nick and Emerson have now that they’re in each other’s lives.

Check out Nick teaching Emerson some tricks in this the video below from Good Morning America.

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This incredible story originated from NFR Maine. Check them out!