This is a profile from our “You Rescue Me” contest, which ran in early 2014.
Joshua is now almost 10yrs old. He has NEVER had a day in his life that he has not been attached to a life sustaining tube or equipment. He continues to receive 100% of his daily nutrition via g-tube and takes small snacks by mouth as tolerated. He wears a cochlear implant on his left ear and a hearing aid on his right ear. It’s not ‘normal’ hearing, but it works. He does very well with it, but needed some extra help…enter MASON: the hearing, helping alert dog!
MASON alerts Joshua to many different sounds in a couple of ways. He has been trained to nudge Joshua (or sometimes bark) when I need his attention. This skill can be life-saving in certain situations! MASON also alerts Joshua to environmental sounds that he does not notice on his own by simply being attentive to his surroundings and looking toward noises, which causes Joshua to look in the same direction. This gives Joshua a ‘heads up’ to people, cars, or situations near him.
MASON also does medical alerts for Joshua by alerting to the alarm of his feeding pump. He also alerts mom when Josh needs help in another room. MASON sleeps with Joshua providing a measure of security at night when he cannot wear his hearing devices. He is working on learning to summon help at night. The companionship of this wonderful dog for this special boy cannot ever be overstated!! He is a constant buddy that goes with him just about everywhere including almost everyday clinic appointments, blood draws, and medical testing. MASON is an awesome friend always by his side!! Josh will never again feel alone, or left out because MASON is not only his latest and greatest medical device, but he is his soulmate.