The touching story of a deaf puppy who was adopted by a deaf man and taught sign language to communicate their love is told in the book A Deaf Puppy’s Journey.

At only six weeks old, life has already been tough for young Emerson. He was rescued from a shelter in Florida where he was transferred to Maine. The puppy sustained an infection known as canine parvovirus which can be life-threatening for dogs if left untreated. Luckily, Emerson pulled through. But it was just the beginning of his journey.

“We aren’t sure if Emerson was born deaf and visually impaired or if it was a result of the seizures but what we DO know is that neither one of those bother him one bit.” The shelter said in one of their Facebook posts.

According to the same Facebook post, Emerson was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” which made Emerson more confused because his siblings were adopted right of the bat. They wrote adoption advertisements for Emerson. They convinced people that just because he was different does it mean that he can’t be a loyal companion.

“My foster mom thinks that’s because people see that I’m deaf, and that makes people nervous but she wants everyone to know that being deaf is the LEAST of my worries!” said one Facebook post. “What IS known is that a lack of being able to hear doesn’t keep me down! I’m a happy-go-lucky little dude, at least that’s what my foster mom says! I love everyone and everything!” the post continued.

Weeks later, the shelter received an application from a person named Nick Abbott. Seeing the dog’s challenges, Abbott can’t help but feel some sort of connection. After all, they were both deaf. “I said- Oh, he’s deaf too,” explains Abbott to WABI. “Maybe I can go check him out to see what he’s all about.”

“He came straight to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there,” says Abbott to the news outlet. “So you can tell he kind of picked me. And I knew right then and there that we would get along and understand each other pretty good.”

While their voices are quiet, their connection was loud for everyone else to see and feel. Abbott communicated with Emerson after teaching him visual commands. What is known as the “sit” command for us became the “s” sign for Emerson. And “lie down” for us meant sweeping Abbott’s hand across in a straight line.

It is through his disabilities that Emerson is able to find a home that will love him. Their unique connection became the foundation of a beautiful friendship between man and beast.