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Deaf and blind dachshund follows his nose

rudolphWhat would you name a dachshund, born deaf and blind, who counts on his nose to show him the way?

To Marcia Fishman, the answer was obvious: Rudolph.

After bouncing between four other homes, Rudolph was adopted by Fishman two years ago, and he’s gone on to become a visitor to elementary schools, and the subject of a children’s book.

“Rudolph’s Nose Knows,” written by Fishman, is about a blind and deaf dog teased by other dogs because he bumps into things. When he turns out to be the only one able to rescue a bird stuck in a hole, he becomes a hero.

As a team, Rudolph and Fishman visit schools around Detroit to help show kids that disabilities are surmountable, and that teasing — whether over a red nose or some other physical challenge — is a painful and misguided waste of time. Fishman hopes that Rudolph, the dachshund, can help teach children to accept others who might appear different from themselves.

Last week, they dropped in on more than 60 third-graders at McIntrye Elementary School in Southfield, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Shut your eyes and hold your ears as tight as possible,” Fishman told the students. “Don’t feel sorry for Rudolph, he is a happy dog. But I want you to understand what he experiences every day of his life.”

Though he can’t hear or see, Rudolph is helping to instill compassion and acceptance in the children, Fishman said. “He’s spreading a great message. I will never forget what one child said to me last year, after he hugged Rudolph– ‘I am going to tell my mommy that I want a deaf and blind dog, too.’ “


Comment from Tara Hatley
Time January 18, 2010 at 10:25 pm

How did you take care of him? My siblings have a blind & deaf dog too.

Comment from Dixie Shore
Time October 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Rudolph is going to help me teach a lesson on disabilities. My students are going to love this

Comment from Patti Mayes
Time January 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Hi Marcia,

My husband and I have fallen in love with a blind and deaf dog named Chamois on Petfinder. She is a Sheltie mix who looks to be albino, maybe, and is available for adoption at the Pontiac Animal Rescue League. We were approved a few weeks ago, but ulitmately turned down because we don’t have a fenced in yard. Do you? What advice could you give us about this potential adoption? We already have two dogs that we feel would treat her very well. My husband is retired so would be home most of the day.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Comment from Patricia Piretti
Time November 19, 2012 at 1:12 am

I have a double dapple dachshund born blind/deaf. He is two years old and I have had him 3 months. I am having terrible issues with him and need solutions. I figured with Rudolph’s background you might have or have issues. Please contact me if you are willing to help me. He has his canine good citizen award and knows many commands, but he is not happy. He is smart, but has compulsive behavior.