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Haley Ashmore’s dog Flynn goes above and beyond the call of duty, according to her. He has become her lifeline. When she needs assistance, he may bring help. It takes a lot of dedication and effort to teach an Australian Shepherd as a medical alert dog, and the role is now much easier for them to grasp.
However, when he was only 7-months old, a person who stopped to pet Flynn inadvertently injured Hailey as a result. Her tale is a reminder that service dogs should not be handled or played with while they work unless their owner allows it.Hailey and her loyal service dog, Flynn are incredibly inseparable.
“We are a team. Where I go, he goes,” she says. That’s because Hailey depends on Flynn to alert her and others if she’s in trouble.
Hailey, who is 16, has a variety of disorders that can put her life at risk, including epilepsy, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, reactive hypoglycemia, severe allergies, gastroparesis , and asthma. According to Fetching Apparel’s interview with Hailey, she was formerly a dancer on the varsity drill team as well as student council and the orchestra. She now takes classes online because of her health problems and relies on caregivers. That’s where Flynn enters the picture.
Hailey got her loyal Flynn as a puppy and immediately began training him as a medical alert dog.
He is being taught to detect impending seizures before they occur so that Hailey may react and gain assistance and find a safe spot where she won’t harm herself. That didn’t happen on one day, however, because someone decided to pet Flynn. Hailey was at her father’s workplace, and a well-intentioned individual came over to say “hi” to Flynn.
“I immediately told him to stop [petting Flyyn],” Hailey told the Dodo. “I thought I had 10 minutes to get safe, take medication and call somebody for help. Unfortunately, I didn’t and ended up getting a nasty rug burn.”
Hailey passed out and when she woke up to find her face covered in multiple scrapes from where she fell on the carpet.
Hailey was still very young, and she was still learning to brush off people stroking her dog. It’s difficult for people to not to want to say ‘hello’ to such a warm personality like Hailey’s, but it’s good advice to remember when you look at her scrapes.
“My service dog is my lifeline. I don’t say that to be cute. He helps keep me alive just like life support. If he gets distracted this happens. If he gets distracted I can die. Do not pet service dogs. Do not call to service dogs. Do not taunt service dogs. Do not talk to service dogs. Do not do anything to service dogs. Thank you,” Hailey writes on Instagram.
“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,” explains Hailey.
“I wish people could understand that’s what the giant stop sign patch means,” she says. “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.”
Hailey Flynn is so much more than just a service dog.
“This dog is my hero. Need a pillow? He’s there. Need something to protect your head during a seizure? He’s there. Need a friend? He’s there.”