Kayla Aolick and her seizure guide dog Shadow have forged a friendship that goes beyond necessity.

Seizure guide dog brings freedom in Alberni

Shadow, a golden retriever, is trained to get help for Alberni resident Kayla Aolick when she has seizures.

When the seizures started again, Kayla Aolick thought her independence was over.

Aolick, now 20, still suffers from the effects of a brain tumour she had removed when she was 12.

Her seizures became more frequent over the past year. “This summer I had a really bad period with them. I had 43 (seizures) in two weeks,” Aolick said. One of her doctors in Vancouver suggested she apply for a guide dog; the Aolicks had never heard of seizure guides dog before this. Kayla applied for and was accepted into the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program.

Shadow, a golden retriever, is trained to get help for Kayla when she has a seizure. “If he sees me shaking he can bark for help and someone wil come, or he can go and get somebody for help,” she explained.

“He can grab the phone if I was able to call 9-1-1. He can push those LifeLine buttons.”

This is Kayla’s first experience with a dog, and Shadow has to be with her 24/7. When he is in his harness, he is working. Kayla is required to keep up with Shadow’s training, walk him at least twice a day and ensure he maintains a certain weight.

But the rules are a good tradeoff, both Kayla and her mom agree. “It gives me peace of mind,” says Sheila.

“It’s kind of making things a little bit better. He gives me a lot of independence now,” says Kayla.

“They say dogs are a man’s best friend. He’s always beside me; if I’m having a bad day he’s always there to make me feel better.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/alberniNews

Just Posted

Celebrate with Cycle Alberni for Bike to Work and School Week

Celebration stations kick off at Jumping Slug Community Cyclery

Two Alberni Valley hockey players win bronze at NAHC finals

Team BC male awarded a bronze medal after controversial decision

Port Alberni to hold Walk for Dog Guides on May 26

Fundraising event one of 300 across Canada

Mattress recycling program provides work experience in Port Alberni

Recycle Matters was started by INEO Employment Services

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker announces first headliner

Canadian rock band Harlequin will take the stage on Sunday

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read