We’ve met a lot of amazing furry friends during Animals week, but Baloo the labrador is especially great: she can predict when her owner Dani Stevens is about to have a seizure.
Dani lives with a condition where she has chronic seizures, and she got Baloo six months ago.
“She detects it by smell,” Dani told Hack, “The smells that come out of your body before you’re going to have a seizure.
“There’s a time when they’ve done their basic training that you work with the trainers and they stay at your house. Before, when I would be having a seizure, they rub towels and stuff on you, to get the smell of the seizure, and they would go and smell the towel, get her all excited to bark, and that’s how she learnt what a seizure smelt like.
“About three to five minutes beforehand she’ll bark and then I know I’m going to have a seizure so I can get into a safe situation and have my medication.”
Apart from being a companion for Dani and giving her the reassurance that she’s safe, Baloo has also helped Dani have less seizures altogether.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries before I got her – burns and concussions, being in the swimming pool. It just gives you the warning so you can go and lay down and you know you’re going to be safe.
“I have medication I can take, and because she’s given me the warning, sometimes I take it and it actually prevents the seizure altogether.
“I recently went ten days without a seizure. And I haven’t done that for 5 years.
“She’s definitely changed my life.”