Barb Davenport is the person that the workers at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society call when they are in desperate need of finding a home for a pup, which is why they called her when they weren’t having any luck placing, Ghost, a deaf puppy, with a lot of energy. In addition to his excessive energy, Ghost also had an occasional indifference to people. Because he would require an owner who was willing to learn new ways of communicating, he was deemed unadoptable.
While Ghost was scheduled to be euthanized in Florida, Swamp Haven Humane Society, wanted to give him another chance at finding a forever home.
After contacting several animal shelters across the country, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society agreed to take him in. This is where Barb Davenport comes in. Having a long history of handling dogs, Barb started at just 10 years old. She was active in the American Kennel Club and 4-H dog programs. In 1975, Davenport enlisted in the United States Army, setting her sights on becoming a K-9 handler. By 1979, she was a certified K-9 handler, and she’s been working with dogs ever since. All of the K-9 dogs in Washington State were originally shelter dogs without homes.
When Davenport met Ghost for the first time, she noticed that he was very focused on finding balls that were thrown or hidden. Having trained over 450 rescued dogs into narcotic dogs, Davenport recognized the traits that would make Ghost a good rescue dog and got him on the path to becoming a certified K-9.
Now, at two and a half years old, Ghost is living with Joe Henderson, his new handler and he is in training to become a narcotics detection dog for Washington Department of Corrections (DOC). He will be assigned to Henderson and has found his forever home as the first deaf K-9 dog in Washington state’s history.
Thanks to Barb Davenport and her dedication to dogs everywhere, Ghost’s life was spared. And now, he’s not only living with a caring owner, but he is also serving the community in a much-needed way. There is no telling how many lives Ghost will go on to save, all because someone gave him a chance and took the time to train him.
Just because a dog is deaf or blind or has some type of imperfection, doesn’t mean that they should be euthanized. In this case, it turned out that Ghost was exceptional at other things, like hunting for, detecting, and retrieving items, even though he didn’t have the ability to hear. He may have excelled at fetching because his lack of hearing led him to use his other senses more.
In some sense, Barb Davenport is an angel. She has dedicated her entire life to not only helping dogs in need of a home but helping those dogs to help people ultimately. It’s obvious that this woman is using her talent and passion to do something that she loves which just so happens to benefit the world. Ghost has a chance at living a fulfilling life thanks to Davenport.