Deaf dog surrendered by family finds forever home with man who also suffers from hearing loss

Deaf dog Apollo and his owner Davelis Goutoufas
(Image credit: Facebook)

In a heartwarming start to the week, a deaf dog has finally found a happy home with a hearing impaired owner after his former parents surrendered him to a shelter because they couldn’t take care of him.

Champ, a 14-month Labahoula, was brought into the Humane Society of Tampa Bay where he was put up for adoption by his family who struggled to cope with his hearing loss. 

Also living in Tampa Bay was Davelis Goutoufas, who just happened to decide to pop into the shelter to check out what dogs were currently looking for homes. There he met Champ who he fell instantly in love with - and the feeling was mutual.

"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’, Goutoufas explained.

 "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."

It wasn’t just the fact that Champ was a Labahoula that won Goutoufas’ heart (he had chosen Labradors for pets since he left college) but more so that he was deaf as he too suffers from hearing loss. 

Goutoufas immediately decided to adopt Champ and first on the agenda? Changing his name. Because Goutoufas is Greek, he felt it only fitting that his new dog also had a Greek name and so Champ became Apollo.

A former adjunct professor in American Sign Language, Goutoufas has been teaching Apollo ASL and says he already knows plenty of commands. The loving pup has been welcomed into his new family with open arms and spends his days swimming, boating and playing with friends. 

You’ve got to love a happy ending and it looks like the well-deserving Apollo has been gifted just that. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.