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Those of you that have been around here for years probably remember our beloved Heidi. She worked so well for the short 3 years that she could do so. Heidi was diagnosed with spondilosis and hip dysplasia about a year and a half ago and was retired from full time service work. This morning her suffering ended.

Heidi came to us shortly after my wife and i married, she was my gift to my new bride who needed a dog to help her keep from falling, climb stairs, pick up stuff... the list goes on. Heidi worked with a devotion to my wife that is matched by few. A bonus that we soon got from Heidi was her ability to predict seizures and warn my wife before they happened. Heidi gave her the confidence she needed to go out in public by herself. She was freedom for my wife. When we found out about Heidi's spine and hip problems, we had already been working with Dierk, our next dog thinking that my wife may need a backup dog, and he instantly stepped in and Heidi became a quite spoiled loving pet. She did well for better than a year, but recently was unable to climb into bed, or even go to the bathroom without falling. Her pain became more apperant when she began to lash out. Her pain ended this morning in my arms.

She will be soarly missed.

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Heidi in her prime doing what she love most.
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Recent pics, Heidi playing tug, stubborn to the end and Heidi and Dierk Christmas last year.
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So sorry for your loss. Heidi sounds like she was a great dog. When you feel up to it please tell us more about Heidi and her service to your wife.
 

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I am so sorry to hear of your and your family's loss, Jeffrey.

dear sweet Heidi. While your life was too short I am sure that it was filled with love.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss of Heidi. She certainly sounds like a wonderful girl not only as a loyal service dog but as a much pampered pet.

My condolences to you, your wife, and all those who loved her.
Rest in Peace beautiful Heidi, may you run free at the Bridge!
 

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Jeffrey, when I saw the title in Recent Topics I just knew it was your Heidi.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Heidi was one special girl for sure. I am so very sorry.

RIP Heidi.
 

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Jeffrey, Thank you for sharing the pictures of Heidi and the story of her life of service and beyond.
She was beautiful and well cared for.
I am so sorry for your loss and send my heartfelt sympathy to you and your wife.
Run free of pain Heidi.
 

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What a sweet, dedicated girl. Rest in peace, Heidi
 

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My sympathies to you and your wife on the passing of Heidi


It touches my heart to hear of a both dog and a family who both gave so much for the comfort of each other.....

True love and loyalty.

RIP Sweet Heidi... run free at the bridge!
 

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She was a very beautiful girl. I too would be interested in hearing more about her service to your wife. My daughter recenlt started having seizures and I have been reading alot about dogs that detect them, and would be interested in hearing what your dog did, how she reacted prior to your wife's seizure, etc. Many blessing to you and your wife.
 

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I am very sorry to read of the loss of your special Heidi.

Sincere condolences to you and your wife.

RIP Heidi
 

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I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Heidi sounds like one of those dogs who will be marked in many people's memories forever. Feel assured that she can now run without pain and she will await your arrival at the Rainbow Bridge.


RIP Heidi
 

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Thank you all for your kind words and concern.

Heidi started her training as a fairly young dog at about 6 months old. really more games at that point, but so much more than her training she was my wife's constant companion. I truly believe that the devotion she gave was so much more out of her own inteligence and devotion to Heather than it was out of her training. She so loved to here her say "Thank you Heidi". Her training was mostly being a stable platform that learned to take one step at a time and wait until Heather took the next one, retrieving dropped items...(gotta tell a cute story about this, once while shopping Heather was looking at tomatos and the woman standing next to her dropped on, Heidi didn't miss a beat she picked up the tomato and tried to give it to the lady, imagine the surprise) The mobility work is really so easy for any gentle but strong dog to do, she learned to counter Heathers stumbles and during those couple of bad months a few years ago, she learned to pull a wheel chair so well, that I couldn't keep up with them going through Midway Airport. The greatest gift that she gave Heather was something that I truly believe cannot be trained and come soley from the devotion of dog to master and a very keen sense of smell. After witnessing 3 seizures, one afternoon she jumped up from her afterwork post next to my recliner and ran upstairs. Thinking it odd that she leave me in those brief moments that she loved to spend with me after work, I followed her upstairs to find Heather seizing. Heidi was quite distraught, but laid across Heathers chest and waited for the seizure to quit. We started paying attention to Heidi's activity and realized that her anxious whining and sniffing of Heathers face was without fail a precurser to a seizure. If you want an example of how incredible their sense of smell is, Heidi once was outside and Heather was inside upstairs, Heidi about knocked the door down before one of the kids opened it and she ran upstairs with kids in tow to find Heather seizing.

MEJ, not all dogs will detect, or at least give alert if they do notice seizures, but my advice is to have a dog for your daughter that spends all of her time with her. The dedication, I believe, is where the detection comes from. See momma have bad thing that follows this smell...dog puts two and two together and the smell that they sense sometimes comes as early as 10 to 15 minutes. Watch the dog, make sure the dog witnesses the seizures, and then trust the dog.

Again thanks to all of you for your kind words. Many of you , Ruq and TJ particularly, remember when Heidi was in her prime, she was even the star of a pretty decent (if I don't say so myself) newspaper article about service dogs and access rights. She will be missed by many, but none more than Heather. Fortunately Dierk has stepped in and because of his size and his temperment, he actually does his work even better than Heidi did, I think he is helping Heather through these tough times.
 

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Oh gosh Jeffrey I had not seen you post in a while. So sorry about Heidi. I remember all your stories of how wonderful she was and how much she helped Heather.

May she rest in peace and hugs to you guys.
 

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Jeffrey,

Thank you so much for the interesting post about Heidi's service work with your wife. I appreciate your knowledge and insight on this subject, as it is all new to me still. My daughter had her first (actually 3 in one day on April 7 of this year) seizure recently, and had 2 more June 23 and another July 1. No known cause was found, although she is mentally impaired, which obviously increases the possibility. My GS's are Max (11) and Greta (2) and I'm going to do some research on the subject for sure. I don't know if Greta could be trained or if maybe just in time she could learn to detect, so I have some studying to do. But thank you again for the response and I'm glad Heather and you have Dierk to help fill the huge void I'm sure Heidi left.
 
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