Joy Sargis's life was pretty normal until August 2010, the American Kennel Club reports.
That's when she was involved in a rollover auto accident that left her with severe hearing loss. “I was hanging upside down in my seat belt,” she recalled. “My nose was broken, and I had tiny pieces of glass embedded all over my body. All of my injuries required several surgeries to correct. But the worst was the permanent loss of understanding conversation."
Joy can hear sounds, but she can't understand speech. She wears hearing aids, but she says they don't help much.
Before the crash, she was an independent woman, with a lifestyle that included work, travel, running, and socializing with friends. But after the crash, she lost her job, and socializing became stressful and embarrassing.
“I couldn’t talk on the phone. I couldn’t understand what was happening at meetings. I had trouble talking because I couldn’t hear myself. Sometimes I would talk too loudly or at the wrong time. There were a few people who made fun of me, which was humbling,” she recalls.
So Joy began staying home for long periods, sitting in her room with the lights out and visiting with her beloved borzois. Also known as Russian Wolfhounds, they are quiet and affectionate companions.
“They didn’t care that I couldn’t hear,” says Joy. Gradually, she began to venture into the world, and one of her borzois became her therapy dog. They also helped her make new friends.
When she got married in 2012, the dogs were full participants.
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