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

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs rally for the win with five goals in third period

Port Alberni team has won two games in a row at home

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombudsman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of fatal bus crash

Swedish visitors celebrate steam donkey at McLean Mill—without the steam

Volunteers celebrate 90th birthday of mill’s vintage steam donkey

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read