My name is Addison Pittinger. On May 10th 2013 after waking up from a nap, my life changed forever. After tons of testing and hospital stays it was determined that I probably have a very severe form of Tourettes Syndrome along with a host of other conditions. After a bunch of medications and traveling out of state for help to control my pseudo seizures, fainting spells, migraines, leg numbness, pain, and tics that change weekly, it was suggested that we look at service dogs to help! After weeks of searching the internet for a Tourettes service dog, my family and I were frustrated to find only 2 Tourettes service dog trainers in the U.S. of which were over priced and over 1,000 miles away. My life changed again when a family friend suggested an amazing dog trainer in Tulsa that might be able to help us. This is when we discovered Glad Wags and a wonderful woman to take on the challenge of training her first Tourettes service dog, Marj Satterfirld, who introduced me to Barry the quirky Goldendoodle that instantly became my best friend and lifelong companion.
Barry is trained to lay across my legs when he senses a "tic attack" coming on, he nudges me until i pet him this being his way of distracting me from focusing on my tics, he stays with me when i pass out to keep me safe, licks my face when i stop breathing to keep me from panicking, will make me sit down if my legs are about to go numb, and licks my hand if I'm about to pass out! He also senses when I'm stressed, depressed, or anxious, immediately making me stop what I'm doing and focus on him, to prevent an attack. Not only is he a service dog, but a life long companion.