Service dogs are kind of like Olympic athletes or Purple Heart winners. You know they are out there doing amazing things, but it’s not very often that you hear about their individual stories.
Fortunately, Milk-Bone recently launched a video series that captures the relationships between four dogs and the people they serve. Produced by SoulPancake on the occasion of Milk-Bone’s 20th anniversary with Canine Assistants, it outlines how vital service dogs are to people with a wide range of disabilities, from brain cancer to autism.
Especially moving is the story of Rosalie Brown, an epileptic who was first diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 6. By her sophomore year of college, she was having 300 small seizures a day, and at least one grand mal seizure a week. She lived in constant fear that she would hurt herself, or worse.
Then she met Rolex, a Golden Retriever, at a Canine Assistant camp that matches dogs with potential owners. “They led Rolex into the room and dropped his leash,” Rosalie told Unleashed. “He ran right up to me, picked up the end of his leash, placed it in my hands, jumped up and buried his head in my chest and wouldn’t move.”
Rolex improved Rosalie’s life from the moment she met him. Not only is he trained to help Rosalie after she has a seizure — for example, he can run for help, or to go get her phone — but he can also anticipate seizures before they happen. As a result, Rosalie can take emergency medicine, and get into bed, thereby preventing injury — and sometimes even preventing the seizure from happening at all.
She recounts one amazing story. “I was at work, and he was alerting at me. He does this by climbing all over me, whining, crying, and licking me when he is normally very relaxed and out of the way. I had a lot of work to do and I felt fine, so I ignored him. He realized I wasn’t listening so went to find my boss and stared her down. He led her back to me, and she sent me home. I got home, went to bed, and promptly had a grand mal seizure.”
Thanks to the quality of life Rolex provides — as well as his superhero ability to sense seizures before they happen! — Rosalie only has about 30 small seizures a day now. It has been roughly five months since her last grand mal seizure. Rolex has enabled her to have a life worth living. “He is part of me,” she says.
If you like to cry, this is the video for you. And if you don’t like to cry, watch it anyway, crying is cathartic! If someone asks you why you are crying, say you are crying for a hero! (Also, seriously, can someone make a full-length superhero movie about him?)
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