Koko the gorilla may have made history when she learned to communicate using ASL, but we're even more impressed by a deaf puppy who has triumphed over adversity by learning to understand sign language in the three weeks after being abandoned due to her disability.

Snowy, a Jack Russell terrier, was born into a litter of six and then sold to new owners who gave her back when they realized she couldn't hear. Passed from home to home and snubbed by her littermates, she became shy and withdrawn.

But when Snowy was handed over to staff at the Dogs Trust Salisbury Shelter in the U.K., they found that she was actually very intelligent and susceptible to training, and soon was responding to a series of hand gestures meaning sit, stay and walk.

Find out more about Snowy's sign language and hopes for adoption after the jump.



Miniature Mammals!

    Dwarf Hippopotamus: Dwarf hippos originated in West Africa and tend to be reclusive and nocturnal animals. And very, very cute.

    Dwarf Hippopotamus: This hippo and her baby are dwarfs, but still way bigger than you and me.

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    Baby Spider Monkey Holding on for dear life!

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    Miniature Dachshund: Mini-wienerdog is knee-high to the grass.

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    Miniature wienerdog says somebody throw me a bone!

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    Pygmy Goat: Pygmy goats are originally from West Africa and were imported to the U.S. in the 1950s.

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    Pygmy Goat: Mini-goats make amazing mini-goat cheese wheels.

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    Pygmy Marmosets a.k.a. Pygmy Monkeys: The world's smallest species of monkey, these tree-dwellers live in the western Amazon Rain Forest and typically grow to around 5 inches. That is one mini monkey!

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    Miniature Pony: Mini-ponies can be traced back to Shetland pony origins. and often take several generations to be bred down to their smallish sizes.

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    Miniature Pony: Mini-ponies make excellent guide animals animals for blind people afraid or allergic to dogs, and can live in the house just as a dog might.

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"Snowy is very bright and learned remarkably quickly, so she's picked up half a dozen commands already," said trainer Leslie Carley. "When she first came in she didn't have a clue what was going on and would chase around causing trouble."

Some of the signals Snowy now knows include "Down" (point to the floor then flatten hand and move downward parallel to the ground), "Walk" (rotate fists), and "Relax and be quiet" (put index finger to lips). She is expected to add new signs to her doggie vocabulary in the coming weeks, and staff are hopeful that they will be able to find Snowy a home due to her newfound obedience.

We're pretty sure the only way this story could get more adorable is if Snowy actually learns to sign back using her tiny paws and stubby little tail.

Obeasts

    "Stop standing next to me, you're making me look fat."

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    This Chinese cat weighs 33 pounds, as much as four cats of average weight (or 132 sticks of butter).

    This big boy is a little down in the dumps. Perhaps it's the high carb diet?

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    This cat's more than a little bit of a couch potato.

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    Pug lug.

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    This big guy was rescued by the Humane Society after getting stuck in a pet door while attempting to steal some dog food. Embarrassing.

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    Is it just us, or does that dog look scared?

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    This Labrador, named Chubby Charlie, was forced to go on a crash diet after ballooning to 168 pounds.

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    These fat monkeys live in a tiny enclosure in a Japanese park. Their considerable monkey bulk is blamed on overfeeding by visitors.

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    There are fat pigs, and then there are fat pigs.

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