Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Mr. Jet Dog!

*Warning, tons of Jet pictures to come:)

Jet is one today! We are so thankful to have him, and he's such a good boy! He has given so much to Ethan since we have had him. Above all else he's an amazing companion to him, and gives him someone who will always be there to play with him, and snuggle with him. Just within days of having him we saw a decrease in Ethan's seizures. As a 16 week old puppy he instinctively knew to be calm and relaxed around him. Ethan is prone to seizing when he cries because of hyperventilation. He would cry then have several drop seizures. Once Jet was here he would call out to Jet whenever he would start crying and he would come and lay with him settling him down and stopping the seizures.
His first week home.
From the beginning he showed himself as an extremely calm and gentle dog, not what you would imagine a puppy as at all. He never ran around crazy and jumped up on the kids. Instead he would would approach gently wagging his tail, and sit calmly to be petted. He caught on to training extremely fast, and had the basics (sit, stay, come, down, heel) down in a week. Looking at him you could see him thinking, and trying to problem solve, something I've never seen in a dog before. He would always keep an ever watchful eye on Ethan. Wherever Ethan went Jet followed. When you looked at him you saw he was a puppy, but it was quickly forgotten when you saw the way he acted.
Eventually we started public access training with him. I was shocked every time when that vest went on and his always calm attitude became even more calm and even better behaved. He did always what he was told when he was told. He would walk calmly through any crowd never blinking an eye and ignoring anything else around him.
One of his first trips out.
Around 6 or 7 months we began to notice after Ethan's seizures in his postictal stage Jet would lay with him, never leaving his side. He was mostly oblivious when the seizure was occurring, but somehow knew he was to stay with him afterward.
Where you find one you're likely to find the other. Jet is very in tune with Ethan, and knows when to keep an extra close watch on him, and when to give him his space but watch from a distance. Ethan has recently been moved into his own room right next to ours. Jet can choose between sleeping on our bed, in his bed in our room, or in Ethan's room, but most nights we find him asleep on Ethan's floor, the most uncomfortable option, but where he chooses to be.
Looking a bit too much like a poodle here....
Taylor loves him too:)
Over the months he has become more and more aware of Ethan's seizures, and more concerned about them. He usually reacts after they have begun. He will come and lay with him, often licking him and just being there, and always sleeping with him after. Today made 4 weeks and 1 day between tonic-clonic seizures for Ethan, the longest he's ever gone. We have been on edge for the last week knowing it would happen anytime. I was making Taylor's breakfast this morning when I heard ever so familiar noises coming from Ethan. I looked over and found him on the floor in the tonic phase with his best buddy laying over him:) What a way to show how special he is on his birthday!
This mornings seizure.
I can't wait to see what the future holds for him. It seems every day he does something that amazes me. He may or may not ever learn to detect his seizures before they happen, but I can only imagine he will continue to respond and react. We are currently working on him retrieving his rescue meds, and he's doing well with that. A treat or two is always good incentive! We hope to have him attending school with Ethan in the next year or two. This is more an issue of Ethan becoming a handler instead of me, and Jet taking commands from him and obeying. He has given so much to Ethan and the whole family in the last year, we can't imagine life without him!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Holidays!

We try so hard for a Santa picture every year. After 12+ shots this was the best! Of course Mr. Jet Dog was the one sitting still looking at the camera the whole time.... Maybe next year! They still look adorable though!