Recently I watched the 2009 film  “My sister’s Keeper” for the second time and I was so impressed by the dog who was able to predict his owner’s epilepsy seizures.  I started to wonder were any dogs trained to do that here in Ireland but could not locate any – that does not mean it does not happen.

According to the Epilepsy website “Some people with epilepsy have found that trained seizure dogs help them with securing speedy assistance when a seizure occurs or alerting others for help”

I was delighted to see from the Service Dog Central website “that approximately fifteen percent of dogs are naturally able to predict seizures before they occur. On average, these predictions or alerts are made 10-20 minutes before the seizure, giving the person with the seizure disorder an opportunity to move to a safe place, take medication, call for help, or notify friends or family of the impending seizure so they can be checked later”

One thing I was really surprised about was the concept of people saying their dogs were service dogs when, in fact, they were not.  In British Columbia their  “newly revised Guide Dog and Service Dog Act is set to take effect later this year and will be among the first in Canada to tackle the subject of service animal impersonation, an issue experts say has escalated sharply in recent years. While there are no available numbers documenting the problem, service dog trainers and owners alike say their circles are increasingly abuzz with anecdotes of people putting official-looking paraphernalia on pet dogs in the hopes that they could then enjoy the same broad access rights as certified service animals.”

In the US last year there was an informational hearing on the subject of fake service dogs – by individuals who are exploiting service dogs by faking their pets as working service dogs – in order to keep their dogs with them in housing accommodation which does not allow pets – or travel in the cabin with them when flying in the US and not in a container or cage-

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