A DEAF teacher from Wallingford has had his life transformed by a dog that alerts him to sounds.

Graham Sage, 29, felt unsafe in his own home because of his condition - while daily troubles like not being able to hear his alarm clock in the morning left him anxious and unable to sleep.

Oxford Mail:

But with the help of specially trained cocker spaniel Jovi, Mr Sage has put his troubles behind him and does not miss important or life saving sounds.

The charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People matched the Moulsford Preparatory School teacher with the hearing dog, and the school has now raised some £20,000 for the organisation.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Sage, whose progressive deafness began at around 15 years old, realised he had been relying on lip reading during university lectures. His deafness is now classes as severe to profound.

He explained: “Jovi has changed my life in so many ways. When I’m teaching, he helps me by alerting me to a timer I set to give my pupils a specific time to complete work by.

Oxford Mail:

“Before I had Jovi, a fire alarm went off when no one was in the classroom and I didn’t evacuate because I didn’t hear it.

“I am very lucky because my employer and colleagues are all fantastically supportive, and Jovi’s presence has greatly increased everyone’s awareness of my deafness.”

READ MORE: Black dog Sirius sniffs out mental health issues

Mr Sage contacted the national charity, which trains dogs to alert owners to sounds and provide support and companionship.

When Jovi hears a sounds he is trained to alert his owner to, he nudges him and Graham asks ‘What is it?’

Jovi then leads Graham to the source of the sound - often his wife, Emma - or, in the case of danger, lays down.

READ AGAIN: 8,290 calls are made to RSPCA about dogs in hot cars

Mr Sage explained: “Looking to the future, if my wife and I were to start a family, it is comforting to know that Jovi can be trained to alert me to a baby’s cry and will add to the safety and security of the household.

“Jovi helps me to lead a ‘normal’ life and I’m so thankful to him for that.”

As part of the Wallingford school’s fundraising, one colleague ran the 2018 London Marathon dressed as a dog and broke the World Record as the fastest female in a full animal costume.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Sage said that prior to his companion’s arrival, he was worried about interacting with other people.

He added: “Not only does Jovi make me feel safer, he has helped me to overcome some of my anxieties around interacting with other people, and his presence actually encourages interaction.

“When people find out he is my hearing dog they start to ask questions, which has made me far more accepting, and even proud, of my hearing loss. The pupils are great and have learnt to be clearer in communication.”

Oxford Mail:

Charity spokesman David Robson said: “Jovi gives a visibility to Graham’s deafness which can make things easier when he’s interacting.

“(The school's fundraising) will directly help us to train more dogs that will change the lives of deaf people, so we are incredibly thankful.”