Argos is an amazing seizure-alert dog that completely changed the life of his teenage companion,Hunter. I have watched my son, Hunter struggle with seizures due to having a stroke when he was 11. Hunter'a life went from being a 'normal' teenager to having uncontrolled seizures with injuries quite often. He was falling a lot and having to get stitches, breaking things, and just being extremely embarrassed of not being able to control his life anymore. It was devestating. We started researching how we could help our son get back to living and enjoying life. We decided to apply to Canine Partners for Life in Cochranville,Pa.
All of their dogs are tested to see if they will alert to someone who actually has seizures. This was a big plus in helping us make our decision to choose them. After lots of research, applying, fund raising, and then waiting for that special call, Hunter was finally matched up with his seizure-alert dog, Argos. All I can say is, wow, what a match!! Annie(trainer) decided to put Argos with Hunter because they are both so loving and personable. It was instant love. We spent 3 1/2 weeks at CPL for training so Hunter could learn how to take care of Argos. It was a very intensive, serious, and educational experience. Hunter became Argos' partner for life that summer. The bond they have created in the past year is unbelievable. Argos gives about. 5 min alert before Hunter has a seizure. He runs his face all over Hunter's thighs. Hunter knows he has to pay attention to Argos so he will not get injured. Argos attends 10th grade with Hunter at our local high school. If Argos alerts, they go to a safe place and sit until after the seizure and if help is needed it is given. Hunter has again become the happy boy he used to be. He is confident again, can go outside on his own, goes off with friends now and is becoming more independent thanks to Argos. The great thing about Argos is that CPL trains all their dogs to do about 10 tasks so that they can help their person with daily things. Argos helps Hunter with balance, tugging open doors, picking up and carrying items and other tasks. They are never a part. If Hunter does not feel well he can tell his dog ton'get mom' and Argos will find me so I can help Hunter. My promise to my son was that when he got his alert dog, I would let him try to have as normal teenage life as possible trusting them to work together as a team. I am proud to say I am still living up to my promise and watching these two continue to amaze me as well as others. I thank CPL everyday for an amazing program who not only trains many types of service dogs but also offers continued support forever. They are a wonderful organization who is all about changing a persons life for the better with the assistance of a service dog.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Each Team Training I observe, graduation I attend, and the many recipients I have met is what moves me to give. These quality service dogs and/or home companion dogs give independence to and change people's lives in a profound way. It is beyond heartwarming to see a recipient venture out of their house for the first time in a long time, walk up and down stairs, go the mall with their kids, walk on the beach, spend time on their own (with their dog) without having to have a family member or friend there constantly, etc. Families of children with autism speak of the calmness a home companion dog brings to their household. Their child can sleep through the night for the first time. The list goes on and on. This is definitely a class-act service dog organization that I am proud to volunteer for and donate to!!
Review from #MyGivingStory
'Canine Partners for Life' helped restore a 'level-of-normalcy' in my life.
My name is Edward Crane and I am an individual who is fifty-eight (58) years old, and the first thirty years of my life, I was healthy, active and on a great career trajectory to success. Then, suddenly in 1987, I experienced my first 'grand mal seizure' and it was the onset of Epilepsy for me, which changed my life forever. I continued to work for the next fourteen years, until the frequency and severity of my seizures forced me to go out on disability in (2001). This was a profoundly sad moment in my life.
The scariest part of 'grand mal seizures' is that you never feel them coming on, they strike without warning. You simply collapse, commonly resulting in injury. After regaining consciousness, you don’t know what happened. Thus, Epilepsy easily imprisons people, removing them from the real world. This neurological disorder did it to me, depression set in, and this was an ongoing battle of my life for fourteen years. I had brain surgery performed in (2003) to help reduce the frequency of my seizures, but my Epilepsy continued to control my life.
Shortly after that, I was introduced by a friend to a non-profit organization, called: “Canine Partners for Life” (CPL) who raised and trained assistance dogs. It detailed the wonderful work that these dogs do for disabled individuals, such as: retrieving objects that are out of a person’s reach, opening and closing doors on command, turning light switches on and off, providing balance and support, assist bed-dependent individuals to move, assist with dressing and undressing, provide stability on stairs, take purchases and wallets to a cashier, seizure alerts, cardiac alerts, and much more.
Over the past eleven (11) years I have been partnered with “assistance dogs” that have positively changed my life forever. My current partner is an eight (8) year old, cream Labrador retriever, named: “Alepo” and we have been together as a team for three (3) years now. He warns me in advance of my seizures and he assists me walking and prevents me from falling. He is truly amazing.
'Canine Partners for Life' is truly an amazing and i am grateful to them for helping me lead a normal life again.
Review from #MyGivingStory
My Canine Partners for Life Story: I am an individual who is fifty-seven (57) years old, and the first thirty years of my life, I was healthy, active and on a great career trajectory to success. Then, suddenly in 1987, I experienced my first grand mal seizure and it was the onset of epilepsy for me, which changed my life forever. I continued to work for the next fourteen years, until the frequency and severity of my seizures forced me to go out on disability in (2001). This was a profoundly sad moment in my life.
The scariest part of grand mal seizures is that you never feel them coming on, they strike without warning. You simply collapse, commonly resulting in injury. After regaining consciousness, you don’t know what happened. Thus, epilepsy easily imprisons people, removing them from the real world. This neurological disorder did it to me, depression set in, and this was an ongoing battle of my life for fourteen years.
Shortly after that, a friend showed me a TV program featuring the non-profit organization, called: “Canine Partners for Life” (CPL). It detailed the wonderful work that “service dogs” do for disabled individuals, such as: retrieving objects that are out of a person’s reach, opening and closing doors on command, turning light switches on and off, providing balance and support, assist bed-dependent individuals to move, assist with dressing and undressing, provide stability on stairs, take purchases and wallets to a cashier, seizure alerts, cardiac alerts, and much more. I was truly impressed and contacted “CPL” and arranged an interview.
After recovering from brain surgery in (2003), I went back to “CPL” and they introduced me to my first seizure alert dog. Amazingly, during our first meeting, she warned me in advance of an oncoming seizure. I laid down on the floor and she waited the seizure out by my side. That positive moment, with my first ever advanced seizure warning, changed my life forever. My first dog and I were a team for seven years. Her ability to warn me of oncoming seizures helped me take back control of my life. When she passed away in (2010), it was a staggering loss, that created a vacuum in my life.
In 2012, I traveled again to “CPL”, this time to meet my successor full-service seizure alert dog. At that time he, was a 5-year-old male, cream Labrador retriever. We trained together and graduated from (CPL) Team Training classes in the “Summer of 2012” and have been together since, almost three years now.
He warns me of oncoming seizures with complete accuracy and reliability, quickly alerting me and getting me to react. He isn’t satisfied until I lie down so he can place his front legs across my waist, and he won’t let me up until my seizure is entirely over. He gets up and licks my face, signaling that it’s safe for me to slowly get back up.
These days, without warning, I also frequently lose my balance. But I keep a good grip on the harness that he wears to provide me the necessary support through these unexpected challenges. This prevents me from falling and spares me many possible injuries and broken bones. Thanks, (CPL).
In my case, over the past fourteen+ years, both dogs have helped restore my confidence and allowed me to deal with my disability in a positive manor. Advance warnings of seizures prevents epilepsy from controlling my life, and I know firsthand just what a tremendous help a “service dog” is: physically, psychologically, and emotionally, each and every day of my life.
It’s a true partnership in the face of a tough physical battle. For me, it means freedom. It means my life has been “restored to normalcy”. My dogs have given my family back much of the freedom they sacrificed to help me with my disability.
I continue to have seizures, chronic head pain, balance problems, and struggles with side effects from the many medications that I take. But, I also get out of the house, travel, and enjoy life, thanks to: my “service dog” and my family & friends. God bless my “canine partner” and “Canine Partners for Life”.
From a life-shattering disability and depression to reclaiming my life, I am now the most enthusiastic advocate for “Service Dogs” you’ll ever meet. I know that there are many people just like me, with their own stories of physical tragedy and triumph with their “Service Dogs” from “CPL”.
Remember this important fact, that: “Service Dogs restore a level of normalcy in a disabled individual’s life - they are a true miracle.” Thanks, “CPL”.
Be wary CPL. Take a look at this site.
My adult son has had epilepsy since he was 6 years old and at 26, he was so isolated and not able to be independent because of the severity of his seizures. We learned about CP4L and his life changed 360 degrees! We visited almost monthly for two years as my son waited to be partnered and we were continuously amazed at the commitment and love shown by everyone involved! The professionalism, care and love that all staff give each and every day to the dogs and clients is something not found in other programs. Trust me, we looked at other programs because when someone looks for a service animal, it is not done lightly or without researching other organizations. I know that CP4L is the best that is out there! When our son was partnered with his service animal, we spent 22 days at CP4L in their Team Training Program and not only was our son totally prepared to take care of his partner, he understood the continued support that he could and would receive from CP4L and received a dog that is so amazingly trained. I am grateful every single day as I watch our son leave the house with confidence; confidence that his dog will give him a heads-up before he is to have a seizure. This allows him to take the Metro and buses around the DC Metro community while attending college. CP4L, their committed board, staff and volunteers give so much love to this program each and every day and I will spend my life being grateful to the gift of life that my son received from them! There's is no greater non-profit out there and certainly, no greater training program for service animals and their partners. Thanks CP4L! [just as a side note, we were in Barnes and Noble this past holiday season and another service animal (from another training program] entered the bookstore and immediately began growling and barking at my son's dog. The partner of the other service animal had to leave the store because he couldn't get his dog under control. My son's partner, never blinked and continued to stand quietly by his side - his training was second to none!]