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Hello Friends,
    First a let me tell you a little about me.  I was born in Columbus Ohio & I have been an epileptic since I was born.  My parents moved to West Palm Beach Florida were I went to school.  I met my husband in high school & we married right after graduation.  We moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma shortly after the birth of our daughter because my husband was born there (Yes an Okie from Muskogee LOL). Our son and six grandchildren are Okies too!
    Like most epileptics I have had times that medicines have controlled me and other times they had no effect at all.  To Date, I have taken just about all the medications that have been put on the market for epilepsy.
   Prior to having to quit working at our local price mart I had an aura before my seizures.  For the non epileptics that means I was aware I was going to have a seizure minutes before they hit.  I had a really good job as senior Cashier & all the people were really good with me.   When an aura comes on I was relieved to go to the bathroom to have my seizures.  They usually would let me go home sometimes I could convince them to let me stay.
    In June 1999 I had to quit my job which I had for 14 years because I lost my aura & started having a different type of seizure.  The new type is called gelastic seizures.  I have no aura, no forewarning at all so all my seizures are called "drop seizures" because I just drop.  The first of these seizures happened after I had been "controlled" for 2 1/2 years.  It was devastating!  I was at work checking out a customer, who was a doctor, and I had this new type of seizure.  They say my hands curled up I dropped to the floor and started to laugh maniacally and then cry uncontrollably.  My friends called an ambulance under the orders of the doctor I was waiting on (I Never did get his name to thank him) and they rushed me to the hospital.
    They started to put me in the psych ward, but the neurologist said that if it looks like a seizure and acts like a seizure then let's not think it is something else.  They did an EEG and I had all three types of seizures during the EEG.  My Neurologist said he wished all his patients were as accommodating as I was.
     Any way that's how I ended up at home a virtual prisoner afraid to go out.  My son, who was 21, bought me knee pads, elbow pads & an old football helmet. Even with this protection I received several concussions & my elbows & knees were lacerated from having seizures in our apartment.  I was unable to leave the house except for Dr's.  Appointments.  While I was at home on the internet I found information about seizure alert dogs.
    I have met a lot of friends on the internet who have epilepsy and was sorry to find out how far behind in knowledge that our town is concerning epilepsy.  After talking to many people I put out a message on the internet Its subject "In Dire Need" to all the Oklahoma dog breeders. I also sent many emails to trainers, asking for help. however at that time very few places trained seizure response dogs.
    Then by the grace of God I got an answer from a lady in North Carolina. She informed me the guy she learned to train dogs from lived in Oklahoma City. His name was Mark DeFever & owns All Breeds Obedience Dog training. He was a GREAT help & taught us a lot of the knowledge we have.

 

November 5 2000      One of the best days of my life, I got a reply from Leslie Tony who owned Von Rachells German Shepherd Kennel in Stuart OK. Her reply to my message was she had a 6 month old German shepherd puppy.  She had been keeping the puppy way past the time when she usually had sold them.  She said something had told her to keep him & when she saw my message she knew in her heart it was for me.  She donated the puppy asking only to keep the breeding rights since Yahoo was from Show stock.
   
We contacted Mark and he set up a meeting & made arrangements for me to meet Von Rachell Yaha (Yahoo).  Yaha is Cherokee for wolf, but the breeder's husband started calling him Yahoo.  It is a perfect name for him because Yahoo means God is able. We traveled about 100 miles for me to meet my Yahoo.  He was to be my angel in the form of a dog.

Sunday November 25 2000      When I first met Yahoo it was like no one else existed. We arrived at Leslie Toney’s Home and Kennel about mid afternoon.  Ms Toney greeted us & went to her kennels & she released Yahoo from his kennel.  He ran around and then I knelt on the ground & called him.  He ran to me & I received Yahoo.  He acted like he had known me for years.  It is a moment in time I will never forget.  On the way home Yahoo got car sick & crawled under the seats.  About half way home he crawled out & into my lap & started to lick & month my hands, shortly after I had my first seizure around Yahoo.  It was not till several days later that we realized he had been alerting.


December 9 2001
    Mark DeFever came to our hometown, Muskogee OK, to see Yahoo.  At that time we started to work on Yahoo's attention span.  Mark had me use a long rope leash for training. He also told me Yahoo would not be trained with treats but with love only.  We saw Mark a several times after that.  One time we took Yahoo to a restaurant and I put Yahoo under the table in a "down stay" Mark was amazed that Yahoo did not eat any scraps of food that he dropped on purpose to test him.  Needless to say Yahoo passed with flying colors.  Mark was & is a wonderful trainer; however he lives in Oklahoma City.  We needed to find someone to help that was closer to where we live.  We were told by the breeder that there was a lady in Haskell.  We made an appointment & saw her.  She put Yahoo through his paces and said he was doing so well she did not think any intensive training would be needed. She said we could take over his training ourselves.  The main issue was my not having the strength to administer the corrections.  She told us Yahoo was GREAT.

November 25 - January 11 2000:
    The first six weeks we have been bonding, I have spent every second with Yahoo.  It’s about killed David because he was told he could have no petting or interaction with yahoo.  LOL

June 8 2001
    Yahoo is one year old. We had a little party & we showed everyone how smart he is.

September 4 2001
    Took Yahoo to the vet and got all his shots, fleas, & tick stuff.  Vet says he looks good and got a clean bill of health.  He weighs about 50# & the vet says look for him to get to around 100#.  We were worried about his eating, but the vet say he is doing OK

November 25 2001
    it has been a year today since I got Yahoo.  It’s impossible to give an idea of what he has meant to me.  He has not missed a seizure & I am having as many as 20 a day.  We have still not been able to find a trainer for Yahoo.  Thanks to God Yahoo seems to know what we need him to do.  He goes anywhere we need to go & He is a perfect dog.  He acts like he has been trained perfectly & has been doing this for years.

June 8 2002
    Yahoo is two years old today.  My seizures are beginning to get better & there is some belief it is due to Yahoo being there for me.  He still is doing GREAT.  The only "issue" LOL we have is Yahoo seems to want to walk just a little ahead of me.

November 25 2002
    Well it’s been two years today since we got Yahoo.  It’s impossible to say or give an idea of what he has meant to me.  He has not missed a seizure & I am still having about 5 a day.  We are still looking for a local trainer for Yahoo.  Mainly because everyone tells us we should.  Yahoo is GREAT Thanks to God he seems to know what we what him to do.  He goes anywhere we need to go & is a perfect dog.  He acts like he has been trained perfectly & has been doing this for years.
June 8 2003     Yahoo is three years old today.  We had a party & everyone said how smart he is.  He is officially full grown & weighs 81#, he is 69" from nose to tail, 27" from the floor to top of his back & 33" from the floor to the top of his head  Vet says he will probably not change theses, however look for him to get to around 110 or 120#.  The vet says he is doing GREAT.

June 8 2004
    Yahoo is 4 years old today.  The vet says he is doing GREAT.

November 2004
    T
hanksgiving Dinner it’s been 4 years and Yahoo works just as hard as he always has.

June 8 2005
    Yahoo is 5 years old today.  He had an ice cream cake.  He is full grown & weighs 95#; he is 70" from nose to tail, 29" from the floor to top of his back.  I have blessed it is now been about 4 months since I had a seizure.  Yahoo still stays with me just does not have to work so hard.


June 8 2006
    Been a wild year.  Lots of personal problems, but keep on trying.  Yahoo is 6 years old today.  He had an ice cream cake and we put hot dogs in it.  He weighs 100#; he is 70" from nose to tail, 29" from the floor to top of his back.  I have been having a lot of problems, but I am taking it day by day.

November 23 2006    Lot of trouble.  I went to Florida for my sisters wedding and Thanksgiving. Flew down and had seizures on the plane, and was taken off the plane and hospitalized.  Was told I can't fly any more because they are afraid I will have seizures on plane.  Finally got home and was in the hospital for several weeks.  Real down right now.

January 1 2007
    Well things are better!  I have only had 3 seizures since I got out of the hospital. I am starting to get back in to the swing of things.   

April 20 2007       Well I am better.  I am beginning to do things I want and not so afraid of getting out again.  Starting to work in the library again.  Yahoo, GOD BLESS HIM, is still right there.  Always on the job and taking good care of me.

 

September 5, 2008      As you can see its been a really long time since I added to my Journal.  We are no longer living in the Honor Heights Towers, we have moved into a house with our son and daughter in law. Yahoo was 8 years old on June 8.  He had an ice cream cake and we put hot dogs in it.  Our daughter moved out of state then had some problems and had to move in with us.  So now we are living with 6 kids, 2 dogs & 5 adults.  A real house full LOL.  Yahoo has been good.  He had a small tumor come up on his hip.  We had it removed and it was benign.  I am 4 weeks seizure free, I had been up to 6 months, but had some trouble and had 2 sets of seizures.  I am in an on-line school, Interior Design, and doing well.


February 10, 2009      As you can see its been a really long time since I added to my Journal.  Our daughter & her three kids and puppy moved out of the house, so things are a lot calmer.  So now we are living with just 3 kids, 1 dog & 4 adults.  Yahoo has been good and his tumor has not come back.  He is getting a little arthritic.  I am 6 weeks seizure free, had a couple at the show so I had to start again. LOL  I am still in an on-line school, Interior Design, and doing well.  I have an A Average after 1 1/2 years.


June 26, 2009      Well its time I added to my Journal.  Yahoo was 9 years old on June 8.  He had an ice cream cone.  Yahoo has been good and still no sign of his tumor coming back.  He is getting a little more arthritic, and we are giving him Tramadoll.  I am 4 weeks seizure free, had a couple at the show so I had to start again. LOL  I had Gallbladder surgery so I dropped out of school.  I will be starting back in an on-line school, Interior Design, in mid July.  I have an an A Average after 1 1/2 years. Well enough for now. God Bless!


September 24, 2009      Well finally got around to updating my Journal.  Yahoo has been good and still no sign of his tumor coming back.  He is getting a little more arthritic, and we are giving him steroids for his allergies.  I am 4 months seizure free.  My Gallbladder surgery scar has healed well, but burns sometimes.  I am back in on-line school, Interior Design.  I have an an A Average after almost 2 1/2 years. Well enough for now. God Bless!


November 2009    Thanksgiving Dinner and its time for another update.  It’s been 9 years and Yahoo works just as hard as he always has, though I am having less seizures.  He is helping me a lot with my walking  My schooling is going well. I dropped a grade to a B because of my hands shaking so badly when I draw.  I start my Bachelors degree in January.  wish me luck lol!


January 2010    I started my Bachelors degree in January this month.  Keep me in your prayers.  Yahoo is getting along, but this winter has been hard on him.


June 2010    Well things are going OK.  Doing well on my Bachelors degree, I have a B average. Yahoo is getting along good, he is doing good and we are giving him meds for his bones & joints.  Winter was hard on him, but hes doing better now.  His 10th birthday will be on the 8th.  Keep us in your prayers.  God Bless you all!

yahoo walking