Hailey Ashmore, a teen from Dallas, suffers from several conditions including: epilepsy, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, reactive hypoglycemia, severe allergies, gastroparesis, and asthma.
Due to these conditions, Ashmore relies on the assistance of her service dog: Flynn.
“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,” said Hailey.
It’s clear to Hailey that a service dog is much more important to its owner than any other ordinary dog. It’s her lifeline.
“It takes around two years of intense training and thousands of dollars (if you owner train) to actually be able to call your dog a service dog. A service dog can go anywhere its handler goes, with the exception of a sterile environment such as an operating room or burn unit, a religious building — such as a church, or some federal buildings,” she said.
Hailey has had Flynn since he was a puppy.
He’s trained to sense when Hailey is going to have a seizure 10 minutes before it happens. This gives her the necessary time to respond, get help, and find a safe place.
But that didn’t happen one particular day when Flynn was visiting her dad at work. When she arrived with Flynn, a staff member at the workplace couldn’t resist Flynn’s adorableness, so they began to pet him. Ignoring the giant “STOP” sign he wears. “I immediately told him to stop [petting Flynn]” Hailey told the Dodo.
Unfortunately for Hailey, she had a seizure during the time Flynn was distracted by the staff member and ended up getting a nasty rug burn.
“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 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. 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. Thank you.”