Some of you may remember Major from earlier posts. He is a DAD (Diabetes Alert Service Dog) in California that we placed back in January. Right off the bat, he and his partner were working easily together and fast building a relationship. During placement, one of the things we trained him to do was to unlock and open the inside door and the outside screen door. Our thought was when Marie, Major's handler, had her hands full, he could open the door for her. Another option was in the event of an emergency, Major could open the door for EMTs that might need to get inside. We took a video of Major just after he was trained to open the doors.
About a month ago, Marie fell and broke her hip. This training came in handy as Major was a big help through this. But enough of us writing. Marie wrote up her testimony and sent it to us. So read on!
Last month, while picking up the balls and the Chuck It that is
Major's most favorite thing to do, I moved my foot to the left, didn't
lift it up enough, and caught it on a large pebble. I fell, tried to
catch myself, to avoid re-breaking my knee and ankle. I did that, but
broke my hip instead. Since I was out in my gravel driveway in the
country, I had to get back to the house on my own.
As I started dragging myself to the house, I remembered I had something I didn't
have before, a new companion. His name is Major. He is a English black
Labrador trained to be a Diabetic Service Dog. But he is turning out
to be so much more!
He nosed open the front gate for me. He then licked me all over the
face every time I stopped. At first I thought it was because he loved
me, but then I realized it was because he was trying to make sure I was
not going to stop or pass out!
We got to the house and he pulled open the front screen door and
helped me push open the front door. He would have gotten my cell phone
for me, but my land line is right by my front door. After calling 911,
I laid down and waited. After assuring himself I was not passing out,
Major laid down and put his head on my stomach while we waited for
When it came, Major barked a little , unlocked the screen door and let them in. He then lay down and hoped for a tummy rub. He followed my transport to the ambulance, climbed in and again
lay down and put his head on my stomach. As we rode to the hospital,
the EMTs were amazed! I kept telling them, "That's my boy!" like a
At the hospital, he followed quietly along with my bed and
sat quietly next to it when we stopped. My sister Maria
showed up and took Major out potty, where he peed on command. He was
sent home with her, not because he was not allowed to stay, but because I
wasn't able to have someone stay with me full time to take him out to
relieve himself. He got to stay at his litter sister Dropje's house
for the week! Dropje lives around the corner from my sister's.
He now walks carefully along side my walker and knows the words "slow
Now, If that wasn't enough for him to do for me, this past Tuesday we
had another adventure. I was driving us to my primary care doctor for
a post surgery check up. On the most curvy part of the trip, my accelerator stuck and my brakes didn't work!
Good thing for my watching detective shows! I put it in neutral, hit
the brakes. Nothing. Did it again. Nothing. Finally, I stood on the
brakes, in neutral, pulled to the right side of the road and figured I
could slow down by side swiping the cement pile-ons. Luckily, the car
slowed some and I was able to shove it into park and turn off the key.
Major kept licking my face from his seat in back of me. I'm sure he
was proud of me and happy to be alive too like I was!!
So, that is the latest in the adventures of Marie and Major.
Hopefully there won't be any more like them......ever!