Bear

by Simone from Woodlands

"Bear has saved my life more than I can count."
A German Shepard
A German Shepard

Bear is a Shiloh German Shepard, from Millsap, Texas. He began as a shelter dog at the Weatherford shelter, kept in the back because nobody wanted him. His owner Debbie Zeisler came to the shelter in search for a dog, for her mother. When she saw Bear it was obvious he was the one for her. Bear could tell that too. The two became very close in such a short time. But  everything was perfect,p until eighteen years ago, when Debbie had a horseback riding accident, causing daily seizures to occur.

During May, Debbie Zeisler had a seizure in her front yard, falling down the stairs and hitting her head in the process.  She soon became unconscious. After Bear noticed, he wasted no time rushing to get help.  He scratched on every door in the neighborhood, but nobody answered. Bear was not going to give up until he found help.  An animal control officer from Parker county saw the dog, chaotic and running around, obviously trying to get someone's attention.  He went over to find out what was going on.  When he approached, Bear pulled him in Debbie's direction. By then she was conscious, and the animal control officer called for help. When the ambulance came, Bear even hopped in with Debbie!

The amazing thing about Bear is that he was never trained, but he can tell the signs of seizures, and is able to alert Debbie before anything happens. To alert Debbie he leans on her legs. Once Bear leans on her legs she knows to sit down before any injury or dangers can happen. When Debbie does not listen to Bear's warning, she can fall.  When she does, Bear is ready, and can retrieve her medicine. He might stay with her, whatever he thinks is the right thing to do. 

Some of the signals Bear recognizes is the scent of ketosis, which smells like nail polish remover.  This is caused by the dropping of blood sugar in her body.  Other than that nobody knows how dogs predict the seizures before they happen. Most dogs that are trained or learn how to help their owner during the seizure, don't predict before it occurs, and warns their owner.  Like Bear, dogs that do predict the seizure before it happens are not trained, but randomly occur as something like another sense. 

Woman receiving plaque
Woman receiving plaque

Bear took the stage in Los Angeles. He and Debbie went to receive Bear's award. He was presented the 30th National Hero Dog Award by the Society of Prevention for cruelty to Animals.  With the award and plaque he got free dog food for a year. He also received a trip to California in Huntington Beach in the Oceanfront Hotel. Bear was unwanted at the beginning of his life and in the end he had saved his owners life more than she can count. Bear is hero because he never gave up while looking for help. He found a way to help his owner, and he was always by her side.  He always does the best he can to make sure his owner is safe. He proved determination, persistence, inspiration, and love. I don't see why Bear could not be a hero.

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