For those who own them, dogs can be a godsend. So long as they are treated right, they offer companionship, they help people with exercise since they need to be walked often, they give people less of a sense of being alone, and they even provide emotional health benefits, as someone could have had a really bad day at work or heard some traumatizing news, and all they need to hear is those four legs, big or small coming down the stairs or see the tail wagging back and forth accompanied by a dog’s kiss to place a smile on their face. Dogs also have many other practical uses, such as being guards for people’s property, assistance in finding drugs for the police, and they are even able to be trained to aid the blind in navigating the world, also known as seeing eye dogs. This next story is going to highlight the abilities of dogs even further, as this particular dog named Flint, helps save a young girl’s life every day.
When eleven year old Alyssa was just four years old, she lost her vision and started experiencing seizures, up to twenty everyday. However, when Alyssa was eight, she received a gift that changed her entire life. Her service dog, Flint, is trained to bark whenever Alyssa is beginning to experience a seizure, and he barks for no other reason. Flint then becomes very attentive, licks Alyssa, and sometimes even lies on top of her and barks. With this alarm in place, Alyssa’s family is able to get Alyssa her medication which helps her continue to breathe. Before Flint, Alyssa’s grandmother was stuck with Alyssa for many nights, waiting for Alyssa to have one of her inevitable attacks. How does this work? Well, while not being mutually conclusive on how it is done, scientists claim that dogs, once trained to do so, are able to smell when someone is about to have a seizure.
Another girl named shirk also has a service dog, but for a different reason. Shirk suffers from muscular dystrophy, an illness that causes important body parts to essentially shut off. However, with the aid of Piper, her service dog, who is also able to smell out when these symptoms happen, she is able to take her medication before the symptoms become too severe and she stops breathing.
Although the family who requests a service dog is required to raise fifteen thousand dollars in order to have it, I, and I bet the owners of them will agree with me, believe they are well worth the price. I find it amazing how much dogs are capable of with training. To me, it is unbelievable how intelligent they are. I knew seeing eye dogs existed for sure, but I had no idea that dogs were able to help people to this extent. Not only do dogs such as Flint and Piper amaze me, but their effects on humans amaze me as well. Right now, I am thinking about how miserable Alyssa’s life could have been if not for Flint, and how much confidence it would have taken her to even sleep by herself without someone watching her. With Flint by her side, she now voluntarily wants to sleep alone. If dogs are capable of such a feat for the disabled, since I do not own one myself, I can only imagine what kind of psychological effects dogs have on their owners. I hope facilities such as the ones who train dogs like Piper and Flint are able to stay a float so that dogs can continue to help people who sometimes are not able to help themselves.