Sam is about 99% deaf in his old age. He's been getting progressively more deaf over the last year or so. We know he still here's something because he comes skidding out into the kitchen when we fill up his food dish. He hears loud clapping, too -- that's the main way we get him to come when he's not looking at us. Or, on walks, if he gets too far ahead, which isn't often these days, we toss a tiny pebble at him to get his attention.
Mostly if Sam can see us, then sign language and lip-reading works. Otherwise, he either ignores us totally and goes about his business as if we are the ones supposed to follow him around .... heheh. Or, he listens to our intent -- he reads our minds -- I am convinced dogs and other animals have the ability to read our intentions. That's why horse whispering works.
Well, Tim and I practice dog-whispering. And Sam is highly skilled at human-whispering. He tells us what he wants not only with his body language and expressive eyes ... but he "beams" at us. That's what we've taken to calling the intense stare and "loud" mind-talk he sends our way when he really really wants something ... like the last bite of that juicy sandwich you're eating.
Here, Sam is conducting several kinds of communication: he is watching me intently for cues to "what's next." He is beaming at me, his desire to get going: "Enough of this sitting around while you shoot photos, already!" And he is reading my mind to see if it's time to go yet. Check out those eyes at the large size by clicking on the photo and going to the "all sizes" link right above the photo on my flickr page.