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Huffington Post article reader? More information for you!

Posted Apr 04 2013 1:48pm
Hello everyone! Long time no write, I know. I've been considering a return but wasn't sure about it. Then today I received a message saying they read about me and my service dog at Huffington Post and wanted to wish us well. I was completely confused as I had no idea what they were talking about. I went over to HP and did a search, and sure enough an article was done about us a few days ago! I posted a comment there, providing more information about Shelby and my medical information that was left out. As promised, here is the old post I said I'd bump back to the top. I'll put a little bit more info in brackets
Huffington Post Article about Shelby and Her Person!

Here's my blog post from Apr 2009 For anyone late in the game, my Rhodesian Ridgeback [-Belgian Malinois mix] Shelby has 2 certification levels already, and is currently working on her 3rd. She is my assistance aka service dog. Due to the nature of my disorders, she has to cover a lot of needs. She is not only a mobility assist dog (when in scooter, she will retrieve dropped items, open doors; when in manual chair, retrieve items off shelves, you get the idea). She is on seizure alert duty 24/7; this is a tough one because of my seizures often run back to back.

I have a couple dozen seizures a day [multiple tests finally determined there are over 100 daily; they stopped counting at that point; they are due to arachnoiditis; scar tissue from multiple failed brain surgeries from Chiari Malformation complicated by Ehlers-Danlos] but on one particularly extreme morning, my husband took a great picture I am going to share here that I feel shows well the relationship between an assistance dog and their person. Shelby normally sprawls across my lap a few minutes before a seizure starts to prevent me from going anywhere, falling, and getting injured. That morning though instead of sprawling on my lap, she tucked herself up against me, face to face. She stayed like this for more than an hour, until it was over. [They often occur 2-3 minutes at a time, with just a few minutes in between, so they often appear to be quite long without a break, and the entire time I can still be a danger to myself as I don't quite get my mental clarity back.]

March marked one year since we rescued Shelby from the Humane Society, a brutally abused one year old girl, terrified of her own shadow. I'd never had a seizure then, and my husband and I thought we were crazy for going from 1 little old Yorkie Wolfie at home to 3 dogs (that day we adopted not only Shelby but crazy Border Terrier Gizmo). We were drawn to Shelby and our hearts knew we had to bring her home. A month later, my illness progressed into seizures and I’ve had them daily ever since, and she could detect them before we could. It took some time before we figured out what the heck she was doing.

Now we know why Shelby came into our lives a year ago. Funny how that happens isn’t it? She is one of the best things to ever happen to us. I don’t think we rescued her, but maybe in a way she rescued us?


Board Copy
If you look at the difference in Shelby's ears and eyes in the pictures, if you are a "dog person" you will really see her emotions. The bottom one is what we call her happy face, her Shelby smile. She was a happy camper hanging out at the local coffee house, ears all perked up. The top picture, her eyes and brows were furrowed and downcast, her body curled up into me, worried and waiting for everything to be over.
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