Man’s Service Dog Has Saved His Life Several Times

Man’s Service Dog Has Saved His Life Several Times


It’s no secret that dogs are man’s best friend. For Paul, who suffered with a debilitating condition that caused him paralysis and dystonia attacks, his dog Koira is more than his best friend, she’s a lifesaver. Have a look. Koira and I are best friends, and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Well, she’s saved his life at least 50 times. The first time I had an attack, I was terrified, I thought I was dying. It kinda feels like you’re stuck in wet cement. It was, “What the hell’s going on with me?” He’s like, “Something’s wrong.” And fully half of his body just went completely paralyzed. He could drop absolutely anywhere. And we were stuck there until it resolved. Paul is diagnosed with hypomobility, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and Hypokalemic periodic paralysis. When I’ve had bad attacks, I’ve fallen down a flight of stairs before. A lot of things would be way too dangerous for me to even think about doing without having an alert system. I thought, “That would be great, “to have somebody to tell us in advance.” And that somebody was Koira. As long as there’s a scent change, a dog can alert you to what that change is. We trained Koira with cotton balls with Paul’s saliva on it. He would have to chew on cotton balls until we got one right before his attack. And we used that for the scent alert. Right now, she gives me a 30-minute alert. It’s enough for me to lie down. When Koira alerts Paul to an attack, this gives him time to get someplace safe. I have peace of mind knowing that Koira’s gonna take care of Paul. And he can make himself safe because of her alerts. Living with all these things, some of it can sap the joy out of life a bit. But when you have great things, like a fluffy little service dog that comes with you everywhere, it throws the joy back in life. It makes things better. It makes things a lot easier. (applause) And Paul’s story, one of many highlighted in the new book called “Doctor Dogs”. The author, Maria Goodavage, joins us with Paul, Koira, and his mom, Vivian, all in our audience, and– Welcome. I love hearing the story about how Koira has changed your family. I want to ask you, as a mom, how has Koira changed your family the most? Oh my gosh, besides that huge piece of mind, me not having to drive Paul to college, and then wait in the parking lot all day while he’s attending his classes, just in case he has an emergency. So I can just drop him off and leave now. And Koira is responsible for him. And Paul, how has this changed your confidence? It means I can go to school by myself. I can go out with friends, I can do normal human things, and it’s really, really nice not to be wearing a bicycle helmet indoors at class. I mean, that’s really humiliating. So it’s a lot better to be independent and having a friend with you all the time. (applause)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I could really use a service dog to alert me when my blood pressure drops. I black out or pass out from it and it sucks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *