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Kay Miller

Gateway to Canine Partnerships provided the training for my Service Dog, Dusty. I hate to think of what my life would be like without this most valued furry friend.
Fifteen minutes before I will have a seizure, Dusty gives me an unmistakable warning. Having a chance to prepare for the inevitable has allowed me safely to do many things I would never have been able to do otherwise – like swimming, driving, and just getting around normally.
A few years ago, Dusty and I were on a flight from Salt Lake City to Philadelphia. Shortly after takeoff, Dusty gave me his warning. I pressed my “Flight Attendant Call” button, and then explained that I would black out in fifteen minutes and be unconscious for ten minutes or so and that I might be frightened and child-like when I awoke. I told him that it was not a medical emergency and that there was no need to land at the nearest airport and send me off in an ambulance (as would have been required had they just discovered an unresponsive passenger.) Dusty saved the airline the huge expense of landing unnecessarily… and he saved about two hundred people from the inconvenience of a long delay.
When I swim each day, Dusty is always perched beside the pool – ensuring my safety. Many times (probably more than ten), Dusty has given me his warning allowing me plenty of time to get out, dry off, and even get dressed, before lying down to wait out the seizure.
In addition to providing me with seizure alerts, Dusty also has been trained to call 911 if I ask him to “Get Help.” When we are at home, he has his own telephone with just one button and a recorder which tells the 911 dispatcher about the medical emergency. If Dusty’s own phone is not handy, then he searches for a regular phone and tries to actually dial the 911 and then bark. (Hitting the right keys can be a challenge sometimes.)
I could go on and on about how Dusty’s professional training has changed my life and allowed me to be a productive member of society rather than an invalid. I am so very grateful for Gateway to Canine Partnerships for the life they have given me through my Service Dog, Dusty.


Thanks for sharing your story. I have heard that some dogs have the ability to sense seizures before they occur and can be trained to notify their owner. Having family members and working with individuals with seizure disorders, I can only imagine the blessing and security of having Dusty around. The inability to predict seizures can certainly chip away at a person's feeling of independence. Having a good partner to help you out must be a real blessing. Again, thanks for sharing your story!

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