I had a comment that my dogs article could not be opened.
This is from two years ago.
Just want to share what a wonder he is, he does so much more now, as I am so much more sick.
From the Santa Barbara Newss Press.
She saved his life; now he's saving her
March 19, 2006 12:00 AM
Rusty's just a mixed-breed dog from the animal shelter but owner Kara Peterson says he's saved her life many times.
She calls him "My hero."
Somehow, Kara told me, Rusty senses that an attack due to her life-threatening latex allergy is coming on and warns her.
Kara, a former pediatric RN with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, developed a severe allergy that causes her to go into anaphylactic shock.
Use of latex gloves at work created an allergy that "became so severe that she had to quit her job as a nurse and is now permanently disabled and confined to her home," according to her father, Don Reif. She lives with her husband Walter and son Kameron.
Kara said that even a trip to the Cottage emergency room, where latex gloves are used instead of alternatives, can be a danger to her.
"This is when Rusty, our family dog, started noticing that I was sick and started to act differently and not leave my side when my allergy got worse," Kara told me.
Rusty behaved so much like a medical alert service dog that Kara decided to have him professionally trained by Andrea Bratt Frick of Carpinteria.
Now, she said, "Rusty has learned many skills to help aid me when I am in trouble, including getting me help if I am in trouble and cannot speak.
"Recently, I was home alone sitting on my bed watching TV. Luckily I had some injectable Benadryl in a syringe and Epinephrine (Epi), or Adrenaline, already drawn up in a syringe right by my side.
"All of a sudden, with no signs of an attack at all, Rusty ran and jumped up on the bed next to me at full speed and very firmly put his paw on my leg and gave me the alert signal that I was having an attack.
"I was a bit confused. I felt fine and I had no symptoms like I usually do. He firmly pawed me a second time. He had a look of great fear in his eyes that concerned me. Then the third time he put his whole body on my legs and pawed me firmly. All this happened in about five seconds.
"I thought Rusty had never been wrong before; I had better reward my dog and do something now."
Moments later, moving to give Rusty his treat, "while turning my head, it started to spin and got heavy and everything started to go dark. I felt very dizzy as if I may faint or pass out.
"I had no time to get Rusty his treat this time. My attack was moving too fast and my blood pressure was dropping and I was going into shock.
"I grabbed the Epi shot and a Benadryl shot as fast as I could before I would lose consciousness. I had no idea an anaphylactic reaction was coming on. Rusty truly saved my life.
"So now Rusty is getting trained to 'go get' a bag of meds in case this happens again and I cannot get up.
"Rusty has woken me up in my sleep three times in the night during attacks and alerted me twice with low blood pressure like this before. While I am sleeping and have an attack I do not wake up.
"Basically, my throat closes up and I will suffocate in my sleep due to the swelling of my tongue, cutting off my airway.
"We did not train Rusty to alert me when my blood pressure goes down. This is something he knows on his own and I don't know how you can train a dog to do this.
"I have read that only some dogs that are very closely bonded with their owners notice a mild change of smell when a metabolic change happens in the owner's body, such as a seizure, diabetic coma or anaphylactic shock. "This alarms the dog that something wrong is happening and the dog can go into action and alert its owner.
"I believe he started his training much earlier on his own when I started to get sick. I just needed a trainer so I could understand what he was saying, and to show him how to alert me.
"I am so thankful for my best friend that has saved my life so many times. I cannot imagine my life without my hero."