Neeva is four years old and she also happens to be deaf. Her mother, Chelsea Goff, went to Animal Humane, a shelter in New Mexico, seeking a dog that would fit in with their family.
Then they met Baxter, a mixed-breed rescue who exceeded all of their expectations. Like 4-year-old Jamie Salazar and her Pit bull, Neeva and Baxter have a special bond.
“They had some animals that they thought would fit with our family and sure enough Baxter was one of them,” Chelsea said. “It was kind of that love at first sight kind of thing, so we brought him home and things have been great.”
The two do everything together but Baxter has a special gift: when Neeva communicates with him in sign language, he understands.
“We found out right away after she was born that she didn’t have hearing,” says Chelsea who speaks sign language with Neeva. “Really that is our primary language with her, therefore it’s her primary language with our animals.”
Chelsea believes that although Neeva and Baxter’s relationship is silent, it is very powerful.
“She does everything with him,” she says. “He is just always with her. If she’s asleep in bed, we can guarantee that he is in her room with her.”
See more of how Baxter is learning sign language with Neeva’s help below.