A dog was left in Tampa animal shelter by his family because he was deaf and they couldn’t take care of him. It was ‘puppy love’ at first sight when Davelis “D.C.” Goutoufas, who was also deaf, y walked into the shelter and laid eyes on a 14-month-old Labahoula dog named Champ.
“As I went into his cage, he was super friendly to me. I pet him and then as I was walking out, he was going forward to me and barked softly, like he was trying to communicate to me, ‘please pick me’, Davelis stated. “I turned around then walked back to his cage and pet him again. He was excited. Then I was walking out again he went forward again and barked softly.”
Davelis randomly visited the shelter not knowing he will be enamored by Champ. He had Labradors since college and when an employee told him Champ was deaf, he knew they are perfect for each other since Dave also suffers from hearing loss.
After informing his daughter and sending videos of Champ, Dave officially adopted him. He named the dog Apollo since he was Greek.
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Dave shares that Apollo knows plenty of commands in sign language. Apollo already knew some sign language before being adopted and learned more from Dave, who is a former adjunct professor in American Sign Language, and his daughter who studied ASL in college.
Apollo seems to be living his best life after his adoption. He has been spending his days swimming, playing with friends, riding in golf carts, and boating.
Dave’s family has welcomed Apollo with open arms and loves him.
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