|Akiba Keitaro walks with a PR dog for a hearing dog. |
After Akiba Keitaro (秋葉圭太郎), 31, graduated from the university four years ago, he found a job at the advertising agency in the Ginza, Tokyo. He worked till late every night and dealt with a poster of the company, or the advertising poster hung in a car of the train. His own income was also enough.
However, he felt that there must have been something that he wanted to do truly. "I would like to work deeply concerned with someone's lives." Akiba decided to quit the job, and when looking for work related to welfare, he got to know the Non-Profit Organization called the "Hearing Dog Promotion Association" in Fujimino-shi, Saitama Prefecture which was looking for the trainee at the time.
Through the training for one year, Akiba became the staff at the age of 28, and currently works as a hearing dog trainer and also in charge of public-relations.
It will take about two year for a dog to become a hearing dog. Although there is no restriction in dog species, it is said about three of ten dogs to become a hearing dog.
Although Akiba took charge of four dogs until now, neither has become a hearing dog. He said, "There is a difference of skills with senior trainer. I will need to have more experience and try to understand how a dog feels."
There are 51 hearing dogs in Japan. Compared with a seeing eye dog, a hearing dog is less recognized: it is sometimes refused to enter in a restaurant, a store, etc., nor people try to touch the hearing dog under work.