Nyland — Service
All Service Dog are heroes to their disabled handlers. But Nyland, from Service Dogs Inc (Dripping Springs, TX) goes above and beyond to keep me safe.
Nyland is trained to help me by picking up dropped items, turning on the ceiling fan, bringing ice from the freezer when I am overheating, helping stabilize me when I walk, and many other things. However, his most heroic actions are self-taught. On his own, he has picked up on when I am about to have a neurological issue – no medical equipment has been able to identify exactly what’s happening, but Nyland senses it and gently tells me. His advanced notice allows me to get someplace safe before I fall or have a seizure. Because of my condition, a minor fall could be dangerous or even fatal. So, his self-taught alerts are literally life-saving. If I miss his alert and fall, Nyland goes into a “save mommy” mode. For example, the last time I fell, he licked my face and neck to bring me back to consciousness. As soon as I was responsive, he ran off to get the phone and an ice pack out of the freezer, stopping along the way to turn on the ceiling fan – all without a single instruction. Nyland is a Hero because he allows me to get out of my house safely and have independence that I thought I’d never experience again. But, his most heroic behaviors are alerting and helping me without instruction, actions that are self-taught and life-saving.