My heart pounded in my chest and my eyes filled with tears. Sitting in the neurologist office I didn’t know how to handle the news that my seizures had evolved and my medication that has worked for years no longer fully controlled them (though upping the dose seems to have worked well!). The past few months I had been getting strange pains in the side of my head – a feeling that someone was stabbing me in the head and lasts for around 20 seconds.
Temporal lobe epilepsy manifests in different ways, not appearing as most people imagine seizures but rather in partial complex or absent seizures. A brief moment in time where my brain simply misfires.
Little did I know that the reoccurance of my seizures would mean that I would gain an amazing new companion in my life, a seizure alert service dog.
What is a seizure alert/response dog
While service dogs are often associated with people who have visual impairments, seizure alert dogs are becoming more and more popular around the world. Their calm demeanour and safety training gives people the confidence to live independently.
Eva will be trained to alert me if she senses a seizure coming on, bring me my medication, protect me from anyone trying to talk to me during a seizure, stop me from wandering during a seizure and sit on my chest to calm down the panic attack that can happen after a seizure occurs. She will also be trained to respond to my anxiety.
Seizure alert/response dogs go through intensive training (eva’s training will be around 2 years), then they must pass a test to be registered (though legally you don’t have to registar them- they just must be able to pass the public access test).
Eva is a 9 week old Chihuahua and my service dog in training. I never imagined myself having such a small dog, but at only 1.2 lbs she is perfect for my busy – on the go lifestyle. In addition- she is super smart! Already leash trained and very response to learning I have no doubt she will make a great service dog and a consistent companion.
How much does a Seizure alert/ response dog cost?
Alot. Altogether it is over $5000 paid out of pocket. This includes the dog, training, gear, and test fees. This isn’t including regular dog fees such as food and vet bills. Eva’s cost is high- but increases my safety dramatically.
To help reduce the burden of Eva’s cost we have started a Go Fund Me- for those who are able and feel drawn to donate. Every bit is appreciated.