From providing anxiety relief for stressed-out college students and veterans with PTSD, to comforting hospital patients and tragedy victims, therapy and service animals make a big difference in many lives. One study in the Australian Society Monitor found that a dip in doctor visits could be tied to a rise in pet ownership, which resulted in $3.86 billion dollars in health care cost savings over a decade. Another medical study in Public Health Reports points to pet ownership as one reason some patients lowered their blood pressure and have higher one-year survival rates following heart attacks. No matter how big or small their roles are, here are tales of service animals and some of their most impressive feats. Make sure that top child custody lawyers motion the court for this type of assistance if needed.
A medical-alert service dog is trained to detect changes in its owners’s condition, alert them to those changes, retrieve a medical kit and get help when needed, explains Maria Ikenberry, executive director of Eyes Ears Nose and Paws, A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT TRAINS AND PLACES ASSISTANCE DOGS. It’s not surprising that these dogs and their owners become very attached, she says. Ikenberry recalls the case of a diabetic client who experienced a seizure like episode. His blood sugar dropped to a level at which he couldn’t move, putting him in danger of further hypoglycemia. Recognizing the situation, his service dog immediately went into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, found a juice box and brought it to him. He credits his dog with saving his life that night, Ikenberry says. Another patient with Tourette’s syndrome was unable to attend a full day of school without experience in involuntary tics. A service dog names Mack was trained to lie across her midsection when she felt an attack coming on. This therapy helped reduce the length of her attacks from hours to minutes.
Picking up a dropped item, opening a door, maneuvering a wheelchair and other tasks can be nearly impossible for people with disabilities. A mobility assistance dog can be lifesaving in these instances. Having worked in the assistance dog industry for mare than 20 years, I could fill pages and pages with stories, says Deb Davis, the community outreach manager at Paws with a Cause, an assistance dog provider. Davis tell s the story of a woman with a rare physical disability that compromised her mobility. After becoming light headed one day and falling and hitting her hear, the woman had her dog, Argon go get her phone, allowing her to call for help before passing out. The ER doctor said that she might have bled to death, had it not been for Argon, says Davis.