Saturday Stories – Truman the Service Dog


Image by Matthew Almon Roth | CC BY-NC 2.0. Some Rights Reserved | Flickr

Truman the pit bull lives with his owners Mike and Tina, who suffers from epileptic seizures. Truman had been living in a shelter for 3 months since being found wandering aimlessly and frightened in someone else’s back garden at 4 months old.

When they met him, Tina and Mike instantly bonded with him and decided to adopt him and bring him home. What they didn’t know was that their new dog had been only 24-48 hours from being euthanized due to the reputation that comes with his breed.

Such was the attachment Tina felt to Truman when they met, she immediately knew he could be the one to become her much-needed seizure service dog (at the time she had been having seizures for over 4 months). Truman clearly felt the same way, as he would not leave her side and became diligent and protective of her.

With a new home and family, Truman shone in his new role and became Tina’s shadow, following her everywhere. Truman immediately begun his two years of seizure dog training, learning different commands from Tina and Mike, how to respond in public, and how to retrieve items for Tina when she’s having a seizure.

Part of Tina’s condition is that her entire body can become rigid and stiff, causing her to fall over. Truman’s training means he is able to detect when this can happen hours (or even days!) before Tina’s has a fit, using his large body to hold her up and then licking her face to wake her up. Once she is awake, he will retrieve the nearest phone and bring it to her to phone for help.

Over the last 7 years he has saved Tina’s life 4 times. He has literally burst through closed doors to prevent Tina from falling and hitting her head, and even at times warned her not to go driving as a fit is on its way. In recognition of their dog’s hard work and loyalty to Tina, the couple have named the store they own after him – “Truman’s Outlet.”

Truman clearly has a great relationship with his owners – Devon Dogs can help build up your relationship with your dog! Why not come along to one of our workshops and see for yourself?  Check out our training events calendar.

Read more Saturday Stories HERE.

Chris Green

About the Author: Chris Green manages the office at Bowerland Cottage Holidays and Devon Dogs, using his technical expertise to assist wherever needed. In his spare time he likes playing guitar and bass, and hiking around Dartmoor.

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