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Medic Alert Dog Arrival Imminent


#1

Following two ruptures (one nearly fatal) Jack (11) is getting a medic alert dog who will be moving in with us in 3-4 weeks. It’s been a long 18 months of training for Jack, and a year with this particular dog. Meet Echo. Echo will pick up on any electrical or chemical changes in Jack and if she alerts it’s ambulance to hospital straight away! Jack’s doctors tell me that he WILL have another bleed if they can’t resolve his AVM and that it would be catastrophic! More about that in a couple of weeks. Echo will also ease his fears and anxiety taking him out of himself and making him feel safe.
Funded by the Steve Waugh Foundation who support kids with rare medical conditions.


#2

He doesn’t love the picking up the poop part of this but adores everything else.


#3

… I was just wondering what was in the bag and thinking “no… why would anyone take a photo of that?” but it’s great to do all aspects of the work!

I know dogs can help with personal confidence, so I hope it helps, as you say, with that aspect as much as anything else.

It’s great to hear from you,

Richard


#6

Fond memory Richard… I was laughing as I took the shot because I had just been informed that Jack had to do it! I wasn’t allowed to do it for him lol. He has to do EVERYTHING for the dog! That’s what will develop the bond between them.
And oh, she’ll alert. The company who have been working with Jack are the only company in my country licensed to train dogs for medic alert and they have two trainers. If anything we’ll get false alerts when something other than a rupture is happening in Jack.
They’ve also been asked to work with the Customs dogs. If they decide to go ahead with that Jack would have a job when he’s 18 where he can dictate his own hours. At this point he wants to be an astronomer.
The guy working with Jack is a counter-terrorism expert and worked with the elite dog squad in the Israeli Army. Not your usual credentials for sure!


#7

I think the whole thing is fantastic.

Even if my son had a dog, he’d be having to pick up the poo. Its absolutely the right thing to do to be wholly responsible for the dog. And she looks lovely, too. I’m sure you’ve been the active party in driving for this, so well done you, too! Amazing.

Richard


#8

lol. You’re coming to know me very well.
Someone made an off the cuff comment one day around the middle of 2016 which got me thinking. I called a few dog companies, none of whom could help, until I hit one organisation that told me about a guy who she referred to as the dog whisperer and who could train a dog to do anything!
I gave them a call and we chatted about Jack’s situation. They asked how the other animals in the house were reacting to Jack and when I told them that one of the cats moved to Jack’s bed every night to sleep with him and followed him around during the day following his return from hospital after the first rupture, they said that they could help because there was something the cat was picking up on. If the cat could sense it then a dog could to.
We had a meeting where they assessed Jack and said they could work with him as he had shown an affinity with dogs, listened and took direction.
Then it was time to find the money - found the foundation. Onto convincing the doctors to support my application. Jack suffers the second rupture while his application is being assessed which ironically wasn’t passed onto the team doing the assessment but it didn’t matter anyway. He got the funding.
Training starts - which is teaching Jack how to train the dog. To our knowledge Echo is being trained in a way that has not been done anywhere before. Usually you are training for specific symptoms as with epilepsy. In Jack’s case it has been a lifelong condition that has only reared it’s head twice in 11 years so you can’t train for specific symptomology or while a medical incident is occurring. Echo - chosen because her breed is very smart and she will bond to only one person, will be tasked with not just reacting but assessing what is going on and making the decision as to whether the situation is serious enough to alert.
Fascinating yes? Breaking new ground yet again!
BTW - the cat left Jack’s bed after the second rupture but moved back again a couple of months ago. It doesn’t mean a rupture is necessarily imminent but that he is not well and she’s watching over him.


#9

Its amazing and I hope they get on great together.


#10

They already do. There’s a photo I can’t publish because it the intellectual property of the foundation paying for the dog that shows how bonded they are already. It’s the way forward and will give Jack a lot of confidence going forward I hope. It’s been a hard road for him but then it’s been a hard road for so many on here.


#11

An amazing and heartwarming story! Just curious, what’s the breed heritage of that smart and gorgeous dog? (I’m scratching my head … Australian shepherd? Collie? GSP?

Seenie from ModSupport


#12

Hi Seenie. She is a Smooth Collie - Lassie was a Rough Collie. A Smooth Collie’s coat is shorter and they retain more of their working instincts. They are also known as a Scottish or Scotch Collie which gives away their heritage lol. The Wikipedia link with more about the breed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smooth_Collie