SASL Newsletter - Summer 2019 Issue Issue 14 - Summer 2019

The Power of ASL A Society Supporting Language, Literacy, and Performing Arts in the Signed Modality Summer 2019 A Newsletter of the Society for American Sign Language Issue 14 Alice, the Endearing Deaf Dog By Donna Fano I was intrigued by Alice, an extraordinary deaf dog who lived at the Sir James Whitney (SJW) School for the Deaf in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, from 1972 to 1979. She captured the hearts of many, leaving a lasting and permanent mark. She was born deaf as a result of a hereditary trait. I was a rookie teacher in 1974 and met Alice for the first time on the school grounds going for a walk with a student. It was not until her death in 1979 that I learned from her obituary that Farley Mowat, a famous Canadian writer, and his wife Claire gave her to the school in 1972. However, I did not know her background well, for she lived in the residences and was never brought into school. I had collected bits of information about her over the years, but it was not until 2017 when I began digging deeper for more information about her. My plan was to write a book about Alice. By corresponding with her handler Rosemary Ryer, the Mowat couple, and alumni students, I was able to collect more stories about her. In June 1972, Alice Mowat Whitney, a young deaf crossbreed of a Labrador and a Newfoundland water dog, was given to the Ontario School for the Deaf (now the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf). Alice was a gift from Farley and Claire Mowat. Alice lived as a pet for the deaf __ (Continue on page 8) The Power of ASL 1 Summer 2019 – Issue 14