Two months after bringing home Picca as a puppy, Mets catcher Josh Thole and his wife discovered that their new Maltese/Poodle mix was deaf. "She wasn't responding to any of the calls we gave her," Thole told the New York Daily News. "She would just ignore us."
But Thole was undaunted. After a veterinarian confirmed that Picca was unable to hear, Thole turned to a trick of his trade—hand signals—and taught his dog sign language.
"She knows sit, stay, that kind of stuff," Thole told the Daily News. "She's very good.”
Thole told the newspaper that having a deaf dog also gave him a little extra workout: "If I was to go up to get the mail or something, my dog would follow me and take off," he said. "I couldn't call her. I'd have to chase her."