Monday, 30 August 2010

Mia, London's finest mini medic mutt

Milo and I met a very interesting dachshund called Mia at our last meet who is training to become a superdog!

Her owner Emilie had her name on a waiting list for a service dog for a long time but wanted a rescue to give a loving dog a happy life. Emilie, who is also training to be a veterinarian, is specialising in wildlife medicine so her choice of dog had to be small so that travelling would be easier.

She says: "I got a phone call to say that they had mini Dachshund pups confiscated from a hoarer, and when I met Mia I knew instantly she was the one for me.

Emilie has a heart problem and a hearing impairment, so Mia would needed to be trained as a dual-functioning dog, helping with both aspects. She was advised to contact to DogAid, who train dogs for people with all sorts of disabilities.

Emilie continues: "Mia was evaluated by a trainer who decided she had the right temperament and training soon begun! She has passed her level one and the level two exam is very soon.

So how does Mia work?
"She helps alert me to sounds I cannot hear like fire alarms, phones, door bell, car alarm etc and she also acts as a medical alert dog by warning me 3-5 minutes before my heart episode starts which gives me the chance to take my heart medicine.

"If I do not act on my warning from her, I can collapse and I cannot reach my medicine. Therefore Mia is training to go get my medicine from the house and bring it to me, and she also retrieves it from my handbag when asked if I am about to collapse outside of the house.

"A few weeks ago I had an indication from Mia that my heart would begin to have an episode, however I stupidly ignored the warning just for 2 minutes, but it was too late and I was on the floor in the garden. I was out of breath, struggling to breathe and couldn't shout for help, I asked Mia (who stayed with me) to get my medicine bag which was all the way in the kitchen. She returned with it and I took my medicine which avoided me going into a fatal arrhythmia (which has happened many times before) which can be fatal if not treated as soon as possible as the heart does not pump efficiently.

"My massive fear of flying also aggravates my heart problem, but with Mia's help steps are being taken to alleviate the immense stress and upset that my phobia of flying gives me.

"Therefore with the help of Dog Aid and my trainer Val, Mia has given me the confidence to do things I would not normally do, and has changed my life for the better. She is not only a working dog, she is also a loyal friend!

Milo and I think Mia is an inspiration, well done girl!

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