Young Man Adopts Adorable Deaf Rescue Pup and Teaches Him Sign Language

May 4, 2019 Updated: May 9, 2019

Lab mix Emerson was just a 6-week-old pup when he was rescued from a shelter in Florida. Lindsay Powers, from foster-based rescue NFR Maine, later introduced Emerson to his new home in the northern state. She also found out something special about Emerson: he was deaf.

“Once we got him home from the vet’s office from Florida, we realized he had hearing difficulties,” Powers told Good Morning America. “He doesn’t let it bother him at all, though he’s a typical puppy.” They were not sure if Emerson was born deaf or if he lost his hearing after birth.

When oh when Am I going to find my forever people foster mom?! I'm such a good, seeet boy! It's not my fault im deaf, it doesn't make me any less perfect I promise!!

Posted by Lindsay Powers on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Posted by Lindsay Powers on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Emerson suffered from seizures and an infection called canine parvovirus while he was with Powers. She would have to wait until he got better before putting him up for adoption. Thankfully, they found him a home soon thereafter.

“He had such a rough start to life and he ended up with an absolute fairy tale ending,” Powers added.

She had posted Emerson on Facebook, and after a few weeks, they found the perfect match for his new forever home. Powers learned that the soon-to-be owner of Emerson, 31-year-old Nick Abbot, was also deaf. Because of that, he had told her, he felt they would have a “good connection.”

Posted by NFR Maine on Friday, April 19, 2019

Within a day, Powers had processed their application. And before you know it, they had had their first meetup, and it went great. Nick was right.

Nick’s mom, Richelle Abbot, told GMA that her son has since started teaching Emerson sign language. So far, he’s taught Emerson to sit, lie down, and come by signing.

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A post shared by Nick Abbott (@nickandemerson) on

“If Nick reaches up and shakes his ear lobe, Emerson will bark—it’s so cute,” said Richelle, adding that they were “meant for each other.”

“It’s amazing,” she said of the way that they bonded. “Whenever they’re together, Emerson is always finding a way to lean on Nick.”

It is indeed a wonderful thing when two friends who have special needs can lean on each other … even if one of them is a dog.