The other day when I was sitting in the Cardiologist’s waiting room, there was a video playing about health issues and medical breakthroughs. One of the stories was about a woman who had devastating epileptic seizures and who couldn’t live on her own because of them. They came without warning and rendered her helpless, so she had to live with her mother all the time and her movements were very restricted.
Scientists discovered that animals can sense when humans are unhealthy. In this case, they were able to train a golden retriever to recognize by scent when the woman was about to have a seizure, even when she didn’t know it herself.
Several times a day, the dog would come and lick the woman’s hands, and if she were about to have a seizure, the dog was trained to jump up and lick her face. She then had enough warning to prepare for the event; she could call someone to help, lie down so she wouldn’t be injured and take other steps to keep herself safe. That enabled her to live on her own and to go out and shop, spend time with people, and even work. So the dog’s ability to see things that humans can’t gave her freedom.
It’s funny because every morning I wake up and find all of my cats curled up around me, which they’ve never really done before.