Saturday afternoon I received a message from Neil Hutchins of Committed Canines Dog Services, the company I work under. He had a new client that would be a challenge as well as a blessing. Autumn, a young girl, very ill, who needs a service dog to help alert to seizures along with other medical issues and to help to calm Autumn when she is agitated.
There was no time to do any research prior to our initial consult. Arriving, we met Dawn and Johnny, parents to six children. Their story is amazing, heartwarming and heartbreaking. You can read more of her story here at her Facebook page at Autumn’s Mito Fighting Angels .
Dawn, wanting to find another way to help Autumn and their family respond to Autumn’s medical needs, researched service dogs and their use in this specific situation. She then started looking for someone to help train Mito, their new Great Dane puppy. Others said that no, a dog cannot be trained to detect seizures Neil said yes, they can. And we will do it.
I will work with them on basic obedience and some problem solving. The training for the service dog tasks will be done by Neil and Dawn. This training will include capturing as well as virtual conditioning. Mito, named for Autumn’s disease (please check the link to her page for more information on that) is still very young but has already started building the bond and prefers to sleep next to her or on a leg.
Our first visit was mostly asking questions to determine exactly what they need Mito to do. We had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful family and a special little warrior. I am honored to come along on this journey.