Tuesday 18 February 2014

Guide Dogs you may not have heard of before

*This is a guest post

In this article, Bolt Burdon Kemp explain how guide and assistance dogs can be used.
Guide dogs are often associated with the blind, but blind people are not the only people that can benefit from a guide dog as a friend and helping hand. Guide dogs often have really extraordinary skills such as opening and shutting doors, picking up laundry and some guide dogs can even help their owners to get dressed if they are unable to do so.
People with traumatic brain injury (or TBI) often need to reclaim their lives after a serious accident such as a car crash and guide dogs can help them do so. A guide dog is not just able to help with basic everyday tasks but it will also aid with the emotional distress that some sufferers of traumatic brain injury will be in. The dog can help to relieve stress which is what sufferers of TBI need. 

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Guide dogs can help to alert sufferers of TBI of an immediate seizure. These dogs can often spot oncoming seizures about 10 minutes in advance which is very helpful for the victim. The dogs then help their owners to find a safe spot so they can feel as comfortable as possible during a seizure. A seizure alert dog can save the sufferer’s life as it will alert them to take medication if needed.
Seizure alert dogs often need years of training which is quite costly but charities help to train the dogs and match them with their owners.
Last but not least, guide dogs are not just helping with tasks but they are also a friend and often one of the most important aspects in a traumatic brain injury victim’s life. A traumatic brain injury can leave someone feeling lost after having lost parts of their memory. They may not even know their own family members anymore and have difficulty remembering how to do very simple tasks.
If you see a guide dog in the street, they will be marked as such and often wear a badge. Many of their owners will be grateful if you come up to them to make conversations and are happy to answer questions you might have about their guide dogs.

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