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Last week my husband and I escaped the heat and made an excursion on Mount Rigi (about 1800 m). During the preparation for this trip, my husband had read, that on the Rigi hikes with St Bernard dogs are offered and because St Bernards are my favorite dogs since my childhood, our occupation on the Rigi was a decided thing.
The Saint Bernard dog is the national dog of Switzerland, mostly complete with a cognac barrel around his neck. According to legend, these famous dogs have provided rescued avalanche victims with cognac from the barrel to warm them up. I think such a full cognac barrel around their neck is a little heavy and not very helpful in the search for avalanche victims, but I must admit, such a barrel looks of course particularly sweet at the Saint Bernards.
The Rigi Barry & Friends Foundation has recently started offering hikes with St Bernards on Mount Rigi to bring the breed back to where it was bred many years ago. St. Bernards are not only known by the film “Beethoven”, but above all for their great sensitivity, good nature and intuition.
Not only did we enormously enjoy our day on the Rigi and especially the hike with the St Bernards, this day was also start for some research for this blog entry. During my research I came across an interesting article: https://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/schweiz/bernhardinerhund-titus-hoert-jetzt-wieder-besser-dank-hoergeraet-124229563#
What has long been normal for humans has apparently also made its way into the animal world: Hearing Aids. The 10-year-old Saint Bernard dog Titus was the first Swiss dog to wear a hearing aid. An ear infection had made the dog almost deaf and then he received a hearing aid. This article is from 2012, I don’t know if there are any more examples. But Titus was very happy with his hearing aids and continued to lead a relatively normal life.
When I read this article, I knew that there was a reason why I liked Saint Bernards so much …
And during further research, I was surprised to find the following article: https://hoergeraete-jahnecke.de/de/besser-hoeren/tierische-versorgung. Apparently, Titus’ hearing aids have had a follow up for other dogs and why not? Dogs have a much better hearing than humans and a hearing aid for dogs seems to me a huge challenge, because the dog ears are also much more sensitive and you can’t ask the dogs if the device has been set correctly. Well, you can ask, of course, but you won’t get an answer …
Although I had never heard of hearing aids for dogs before, I think the idea is really wonderful and the hearing aids will certainly make the lives of the affected animals easier! It’s just to hope that the dogs concerned won’t get the idea to play with their hearing aids or to eat their hearing aids … I would be really curious to know how the owners of these dogs solved this problem.