Monty, my Seizure Alert Dog

Back in the Fall of 2003 I met a strikingly handsome but “thrown-away” husky named Monty at the Whitehorse shelter, and we adopted each other. He had a very, very difficult time as a youngster (you can read his story at Everything Husky), but our relationship has deepened beyond the emotional to what I can only describe as a spiritual one. I have just discovered how deep that connection is.

You all know something about service dogs, I’m sure, but did you know that a few dogs can predict seizures and alert the person in danger? Monty is one of those dogs. The National Geographic News Web site has a very good article about seizure alert dogs. The ability to predict seizures can’t be taught, it’s a gift that a few dogs have. In the past few days, Monty has predicted 5 of mine, 2 days ago alerting me that I needed to get into the house about 10 minutes before I had a seizure. Normally he and Kayla would have a last play as I walk back to the house, but he rejected all of her attempts to get him to play, and remained glued to my side until I was in the house.

This morning, the change in his behaviour was particularly dramatic. Yesterday he spent his usual day, not spending any more time around me than usual, and I had no seizures. This morning was normal for him until about 7:30 when he suddenly was glued to me, and licking me, which is just not a common thing for him. He began that as I started to feel poorly, and within 10 seconds or so I had 2 seizures back-to-back. The short notice was perhaps due to the fact that I was already in a safe spot. Now that I’m feeling okay, he’s back at the front door, his normal spot to bed down.

I’ve been blessed by meeting Monty, and have to believe that his gift is another indication that my problem has happened for a reason, and that it will be resolved soon. Cathy is convinced that it is simply the strongest non-fatal message my body could send me that I need to slow down.

[Edit: you can read the end of the story of my seizures here.]

Below, Monty in the White Pass, enjoying a canoe-camping morning along Lake Bennett with me, and in his “sentry” position a few minutes ago.

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