A DEAF dog dumped as a puppy is enjoying a new lease of life and has learned sign language.

Springer spaniel Alice was just eight weeks old when she was abandoned by a breeder in Ireland because she was deaf.

She was taken in by animal charity Blue Cross. It was thought her chances of being rehomed were slim. But deaf couple Marie Williams, 42, and Mark Morgan, 44, from West Mersea, took her in and now she has been taught tricks using sign language.

Along with their children Liam, 17, Lewis, 14, and Owen, six, the couple have taught Alice to sit, stand, “come’’ and roll over. She can present her paws, knows the signs for walkies and going to the toilet, and how to “pray’’ when her food comes.

Marie said: “Alice is such a wonderful addition to our family. We love her so much. Her training is going brilliantly and it just goes to show a deaf dog can learn just as well as any other.

“She is a happy girl and we recently celebrated her first birthday with a big doggy cake.”

Marie added: “It breaks your heart to think someone abandoned her because she was deaf. When you see her now, you can tell she is a fantastic dog and a much-loved companion.

Julie Stone, manager of the Blue Cross animal rehoming centre, in Oxfordshire, said: “We are so pleased Alice’s story has such a happy ending. She has found the perfect home.

“We believe there is a pet out there suitable for everyone. It is just a case of finding the right family.”

lAlice became a YouTube sensation when she went to her new home last March. More than 96,000 people viewed a video of her learning tricks with Marie.

To watch a video of her latest tricks, visit http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=69lxz_H8QNM