Derek Douglass has drug-resistant epilepsy, so medications don’t treat his condition and he needs what he calls an “extra line of defense” in dealing with his specific type of seizures. And Rosco, his 17-month-old golden retriever and epilepsy service dog is trained to cuddle to help manage those seizures.
The therapy Douglass currently uses is called Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy and it uses a small device under his skin to send pulses to his brain to stop seizures. But if a breakthrough seizure happens, Rosco is trained to snuggle up to his owner’s chest and a small magnet on his bandana activates the device in Douglass’ chest. So Rosco gives him companionship, comfort, and relief from his seizure.
“Rosco has changed my life by being there for me when I do have issues, as well as just being a friend any time of the day,” Douglass explains. “His just being beside me helps me to be happier.”