Evan Moss and his new seizure dog Mindy, who helps alert his parents to his seizure. Photo credit: Robert Moss
Shelley Mamott, Staff Writer
Last October I wrote a story about Evan Moss, the 7-year-old boy who came up with the brilliant idea to write a book to raise money to buy his very own seizure dog. Evan has epilepsy and suffers from severe and possibly life-threatening seizures and needed a way to raise money to buy a service dog to help detect his epileptic seizures.
At the time, it seemed almost impossible that a boy his age could write a book let alone raise the $13,000 needed to buy the service dog. But Evan did just that and then some. Not only did his illustrated children’s book called ‘My Seizure Dog’ raise the required money, thanks to an outpouring of public support Evan raised $45,000, enough to buy service dogs for seven other people.
Last month, Evan and his family traveled to Ohio, to 4 Paws for Ability to be trained in how to handle their new specially trained dog, who can detect seizures in advance and notify Evan and his family. 4 Paws for Ability is a nonprofit, organization whose mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities. After completing the 10-day training session, Evan finally got to bring home his long-awaited pup, a Goldendoodle named Mindy.
Evan Moss gets a lick from his new service dog Mindy. Photo credit: Tom Jackman
Seizure dogs are not only trained to alert the epileptic, particularly if he or she is sleeping, but also to alert the parents if the person needs help. The dogs can pick up a scent that warns that a seizure is coming as much as five hours before a grand mal seizure and 20 minutes before a small seizure. They can also navigate crowds and provide soothing support.
Evan still sleeps in his parents’ bed which allows his parents to quickly administer his medication, but he’ll soon be able to move into his own room, with the trusty Mindy by his side.
“Evan hasn’t had a big seizure yet (since Mindy has been home), but Mindy has already been alerting us to some smaller seizures that would have gone unnoticed before,” says Evan’s mom Lisa.
“Having Mindy is great!” says Evan, summing up his feelings about his new dog.
His mom agrees, “I think Mindy is going to change our lives in ways we aren’t even aware of yet.”