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home : readerswrite : yourstory February 6, 2016

Four legs, full heart
"Brody runs to get my medicine, brings me a phone, or goes for help if there's someone else in the house."

by Terri Krake

I've been lucky enough in my life to have been loved by a handful of dogs. And now ... I have been saved by one. Brody is my assistance dog, though the term doesn't begin to describe our relationship. He is my guardian. My healer. My connection to the world.

About 25 years ago I was injured on my job as a police officer, causing me to have grand mal seizures-up to four a day. Many of them lasting as long as 45 minutes. Even 5-minute seizures take a tremendous toll on a person's body.

This is where my black lab, Brody, comes in. He's a seizure assist dog, provided to me free of charge by Can Do Canines. As soon as I start to seize, Brody lies across my body, snuggling close to my neck. He uses the magnet on his own collar to trigger my Vagus Nerve Stimulator implant, stopping the seizure instantly.

Brody runs to get my medicine, brings me a phone, or goes for help if there's someone else in the house. He also pushes the Lifeline alert button to summon medical assistance when I need it. He braces himself, letting me use his body to pull myself up from the floor.



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More amazing still, Brody actually alerts me before I have a seizure, giving me time to lie down. Until he came into my life, seizures caused me to fall down stairs, break an arm, break a leg and break my nose. Remarkably, no one taught Brody how to detect oncoming seizures. In fact, it's impossible to train a dog on that skill, because we humans don't know how they do it!

Maybe you can imagine how embarrassing and dangerous a seizure in public might be. Before Brody came, I had isolated myself, afraid to leave the house. But this dog has given me the world. Literally. We go to the gym, to movies and out to eat with friends.

I'm not sure what I've done in my life to deserve the devotion of so great a dog. All I can do is love him back, which I do with my whole heart. Because Brody makes the sun shine for me every day.

Terri Krake and Brody live in Minneapolis.

FFI: Can Do Canines is a nonprofit organization located in New Hope. www.can-do-canines.org


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 27, 2012
Article comment by: Beth Kantor

What an amazing story of to incredible individuals. Sharing your story and reaching out like you do inspires me to do the same, to help others. You and Brody are equally as giving. What a pair. I am not sure what I believe religiously but like the song goes, "there must have been and angel with a smile one her face when she thought up that I should be with you" and that goes both ways.



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