The time seems to fly here at 4 Paws– We learn so much and it’s all fascinating.
The day started with reinforcing obedience. Although these service dogs are fully trained, we have to teach them in our own voices and tones and they have to learn to listen to us and not just their trainers. I am thankful Keebler is easy-going and even listens to Stryder.
We learned about the training collar and the gentle leader. I have seen some comments online where people assume the gentle leader is a muzzle of “in-humane” but after using one, I can see firsthand how they work and how needed they are. All it takes is a small little nudge to correct an incorrect behavior.
Stryder got a lot of lovin’ in all through the day and then at about 2:30, Keebler was ticking his nose in Stryder’s ear and licking him on his face abruptly. I thought maybe it was an alert as we are just getting to know what the dogs do for seizure alerts, but I wasn’t sure. Jeremey, the lead trainer, mentioned that the first time you see it, you question it, the second time, you might think it is and the third is confirmation. This was the second time Keebler did this, the other was yesterday and last night Stryder had a lot of seizures.
Jeremy then demonstrated what a seizure alert looked like when one is having a seizure. He brought the dog in the center of the room and she almost immediately started sniffing the air. He mentioned that she was sensing/smelling a seizure off of someone, but there were 13+ kids in there and then she went straight for Stryder. The trainer brought her back and she did it again and then Jeremy said it was likely Stryder she was sensing. I have a video of the whole thing. I felt many emotions at that time. There is reassurance, happiness and also a little of being afraid. I don’t know when Stryder’s next seizure will be or what type it will be since he has all types. Mostly he has ones at night, but he has had tonic clonic and drop seizures during the day, too. Words cannot tell you how I felt when this dog did this and it reassured what I thought was an alert from Keebler too. One other mom came to me and whispered that I need to document it and watch what he does. It was great for everyone to see, and especially when it’s your child.
ThI will upload the video once I am able to edit the begning of it to take out the stuff that was all shaky —
After that little showing, one of the trainers got on the ground and did a “fake” seizure to show how the dog alerts. So at night, if Stryder has a seizure, keebler will wake us by barking, loudly until we come. WOW, I am so looking forward to getting some sleep and not worrying about a seizure that may happen.
We get to bring Keebler to the hotel tomorrow and of course Stryder is so excited. He has been waiting for this day forever and it hasn’t been easy for him to leave Keebler at 4 Paws in the afternoons.
When we came back to the room, we had a nice elephant sitting on the chair 🙂