A self taught seizure detection dog from Fort Worth, TX has been called a hero for carrying out an unprecedented rescue mission on behalf of his owner.
Debbie Zeisler admits that her dog Bear has not been formally trained in seizure detection, but since she adopted him from the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter, she says Bear has been reacting to her oncoming seizures. “He started teaching himself,” she said. “I would get these auras, start feeling weird, and he started making me sit down.”
She says that’s exactly what happened Saturday when she ignored his warning, pushing past him and walking into her front yard, where she collapsed, unconscious and seizing. What happened next was nothing short of astounding. Bear went for help.
“All I remember is going down the stairs,” she recalled. “Then I woke up, and my dog was gone.”
Bear was on a rescue mission, making his way from home to home in his neighborhood, scratching at front doors in an attempt to find help. “He scratched on doors,” animal control supervisor Karen Kessler said. “He went until one neighbor noticed him.”
Kessler noticed Bear in action while patrolling for strays in the area. She expected him to run from her as most dogs do, but Bear saw her as potential help and did just the opposite. “As the dog was coming down the driveway, I opened the door and he climbed up in the truck with me,” she said.
Kessler read the tags on Bear’s collar, went to his home and found Zeisler, who was still unconscious in her front yard. She had been out cold for 30 minutes in the baking Texas sun after hitting her head on a front porch step as she fell. Bear’s extraordinary plan to save his guardian was a success.
“I look at it this way,” Zeisler said. “He saved my life. If I had been out there alone, I don’t know if I would have made it to the house.”