Over a year ago, we lost our dog Sirius to cancer. Sirius was a loving and playful family dog, and he also assisted Orion in therapy. Using his speech device, Orion still talks about Sirius. Lately, he has been able to work with a dog during speech therapy, and it is extremely motivating for him! (You should see the look he gives his therapist when it is not dog therapy day!) We were so lucky to find and adopt Sirius from a rescue shelter. For this season, we are looking for specific traits in a dog.
The waitlist for receiving a seizure alert dog from an organization is 2-3 years. After researching training methods for seizure alert and the dog breeds best suited for this particular type of service animal, we feel led to the Bernedoodle or a closely related mixed breed, like the Golden Mountain Doodle.
Orion's seizure frequency ebbs and flows and all in all, we seem to be in a pretty good place. The vigilance it takes to be ready for a seizure at any moment of the day or night is an area where our family could benefit from some help.
We have tried using a seizure alert monitor, but with little success. It can be too sensitive and sound the alarm at any movement. Conversely, some of Orion's seizures don't include a lot of movement and it misses them. Best case, our dog could learn to detect a seizure before it happens, but in any case this is not guaranteed. Minimally, our dog could alert us to Orion having a seizure, thus giving Orion a little more independence (like sleeping in his own bed), and offer comfort during and after a seizure.
We are a dog family and we know that training any puppy requires consistency and commitment. We also understand that training service animals and seizure alert dogs extends beyond normal obedience training. To do this ourselves is a labor of love and something we have researched and considered. The benefit of raising a puppy (and enjoying all the puppyness) now versus waiting a few years is what we want.
A Standard Bernedoodle averages about $4,000 and we are asking for help for funding the initial cost. We are so thankful for the support of Orion's journey and our family, and we appreciate any donation!