Man Won’t Stop Petting Teen’s Service Dog – Then Teen Falls To The Floor In Terrible Seizure
Dogs are cute, cuddly creatures whose good looks and gentle dispositions make them irresistible. Sweet as they may be, not all dogs are pets. Some of them are actually service dogs, and they are providing a vital service to their humans. This girl’s shocking story warns us of the dangers of interacting with other people’s service dogs.
Hailey Ashmore is a 16-year-old from Dallas, Texas. She is an active member of her community. Once, Hailey danced on the varsity drill team, represented her peers in student council, played the violin, and scored at the top of her academic class. However, this driven teen also has several health conditions which prevent her from performing at her peak, including: epilepsy, Ehlers-Dalos syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, reactive hypoglycemia, severe allergies, gastroparesis, and asthma.
Because of Hailey’s conditions, she relies on the help of a service dog to help her with her daily tasks. Hailey got Flynn when he was just a puppy, and he has been by her side ever since. With Flynn’s help, Hailey is able to better cope with her health conditions. He can sense when she is about to have a seizure, and he barks to let her know. With Flynn’s help, Hailey has an extra 10 minutes to prepare for her oncoming seizure by getting help and finding somewhere safe. This dog needs to have unwavering attention in order to effectively help Hailey.
Recently, the teen has been having trouble with people respecting her medical needs. She constantly has to fight off people who are captivated by Flynn’s adorable face. When strangers want to pet the service dog, it is a direct threat to Hailey’s safety. Since Flynn needs to give his owner 100 percent of his attention at all times, any stranger who tries to pet him is taking him away from his vital task.
“To get a service dog you must be disabled to the point where you can no longer function at a normal quality of life without the assistance of service dogs,” Hailey explained in a post on Instagram. “It takes around 2 years of intense training and thousands of dollars . . . to actually be able to call your dog a service dog.
One day, while Hailey was visiting her dad at work, one of her father’s coworkers would not stop petting Flynn. The teen tried to warn the man of the dangers of his actions, but he would not listen. What happened next was worse than this man could have imagined.
With her service dog distracted, Hailey had no one to warn her of her oncoming seizure. The seizure struck without warning, and Hailey was nowhere safe. She immediately fell to the floor, her body shaking uncontrollably. That’s when things got bad.
“Out of nowhere I remember the world going black,” Hailey recalled. “I woke up with Flynn on top of my legs and my father cradling my head. On the whole left side of my face, there was a terrible sting that made me tear up.”
Hailey had hit the carpet hard when the seizure took control of her body. Since she was without a warning, Hailey had gone into the seizure with her body unrestrained. Her face rubbed against the rug until she was left with second-degree burns.
Hailey’s father’s coworker had meant her no harm when he distracted Flynn, but his actions were inexcusable. People who do not rely on the help of service dogs need to learn not to interfere with their professional duties. These dogs are not pets, and disrespecting their boundaries can have dire consequences for their owners.
Hailey does her best to use social media to educate her peers on the dangers of interacting with service dogs. “The only time somebody should ever approach Flynn and I is if I am unconscious and/or having a seizure. Besides that, nobody should try to pet him or get near him. I wish people could understand that’s what the giant stop sign patch means. If somebody distracts him I can get seriously hurt.”
“My service dog is my lifeline,” Hailey shared. “I don’t say that to be cute. He helps keep me alive just like life support . . . If he gets distracted I can die. Do not pet service dogs. Do not call to service dogs. Do not taunt service dogs. Do not talk to service dogs. Do not do anything to service dogs.”
The teen reached out to adults to help her live in a world where she does not have to worry about these kinds of hazards. “If you see a service dog in public please educate your children, your friends, your family, anybody else that they are doing a really important job.”
We could all do a little better to educate the people around us about the dangers of playing with service dogs. It is not worth it to risk a human’s safety just to pet a cute puppy.
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