Music — Service
My life changed drastically in June 2020. I suddenly began fainting randomly – entirely unusual for me. I was on my feet for 8+ hours at work and played fast paced dog sports such as disc.
I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. This wasn’t new. It turned out that I had a common comorbidity of EDS – dysautonomia. One form of dysautonomia is hyperPOTS: hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. This means my heart rate and blood pressure will rise to dangerous levels and I faint. I had to give up a job I loved dearly. Some days I struggle to even get out of bed.
Music, still a puppy at the time, took great interest in the scent of my mouth any time my heart rate rose. Having trained service dogs previously, both for myself and others, I began molding this into a task. Now Music reliably alerts in public as well as at home! She has given me independence again.
Due to the nature of the EDS and the joint dislocations, I also trained her in retrieval and pushing buttons for me. Since the dysautonomia also causes visual issues, I also have her trained in simple guide tasks, such as showing me curbs, walls and doors.