Over the past few months, I have been suffering through a mysterious illness. I started showing symptoms just after I arrived homes from Westminster. I tried to chalk it up to just a stomach bug. The symptoms that I had just wouldn't quit. I started losing weight rapidly, over 30lbs in 2 months. I sought the care of multiple doctors, visited the ER multiple times had every scan and treatment known to man kind, nothing worked.
The one constant was that Alice would want to be at my side, at all times. As my symptoms got worse, I became unable to sit and unable to go to work. Alice stayed by my side no mater what, even after each test came up normal. Finally there was a clue, my ct scan showed that something was abnormal with my appendix. About 10 days ago, I started getting extreme lower right abdominal pain and Alice knew it. She would come up to me and put her nose on my lower right abdomen. She knew something was wrong. What was even more incredible was that the other 3 Hamiltons in the house knew it too. Rolo acted more subdued around me. Raven and Selene wouldn't jump up on more or if they did, they would aim for other areas than my lower abdomen.
Well, I was admitted to the hospital on May 30th and was operated on to remove my appendix the next day. Within hours of me waking up from the surgery, I felt better. I was discharged on June 1st and returned home that evening. Alice saw me and her behavior changed, it was like she instantly relaxed. She's been sleeping primarily since I got home. Just a few days after my discharge, I got the full report and it turns out there was a small pocket of infection that was trapped in my appendix that caused all of my symptoms. Alice, Rolo, Raven and Selene all knew it.
I have long suspected that Hamiltonstovare are much more perceptive than the average dog. I've had anecdotal evidence of stories where Hamiltons instantly change their behavior around people who aren't as able bodied, small children, elderly and disabled. Alice started exhibiting something from the time I got her that surprised me and made me consider her for a service dog. Alice can sense my limits when on my feet, I don't know how she does it but it is like she picks up on my pain and can sense it coming minutes before I can. Her alerts were subtle at first and that's why I didn't pick up on it. Alice and I used to take walks when I lived with my mother and she would gently tap her nose on my leg while on these walks, within minutes of that tap, my pain would start. I didn't catch on at first because it was so gentle and it seemed like she was just doing it at random, until I picked up on the pattern.
When I got Rolo, the incredible thing is that he started doing it too, with no training or prompting. I was shocked. I couldn't believe it. When Alice and Rolo's puppies were born, I had this thought in the back of my head wondering if they would be able to do it too. That opportunity came a few weeks ago. I was feeling fairly decent and we decided to take Alice out at a veteran service dog and Raven as a service dog in training. I had Raven the entire time and within an hour or so, Raven alerted. I was stunned. I have taught Raven some basic skills needed but never the alert. She did it just like her parents, a subtle tap on my leg. She got so much praise for it and I turned into the crying lady in Lowe's.
This just proves to me that Hamiltonstovare are really the best dogs on the planet and need to be cherished at all times.