At the beginning of my junior year of high school, I was your average kid. Having fun with my friends, doing work in my classes... everything was going perfectly. Then, in March of 2019, everything changed. I was diagnosed with severe Tourette’s and non-epileptic seizures. It got so bad that I was pulled out of school and never got to finish my junior or senior years like the other people at my school. We started to look into getting me a service dog, but no facility was close enough, or trained dogs for Tourette’s, which was my most prominent issue. Then, we found Glad Wags. Not only were they close (only a days’ worth of driving away), but they had previously trained a dog for someone with Tourette’s! We quickly got in contact with Marj and she found my dog, Rowan, and it was a match made in doggy heaven. The first time the two of us met, he immediately began to alert to my tics. As we continued to work together, we formed an unbreakable bond, and now he and I work in perfect sync. I owe most of that to Marj. Her impeccable training made him the dog he is today, the dog I depend on to keep me safe, the dog I need to keep me living a normal life.
My name is Lynn, and this is my service dog Yankie. Most of my life I’ve struggled with strange muscle attacks that left me motionless for hours. Every in state doctor blamed it on panic attacks and anxiety... I felt crazy and alone. To add on to all of that, my Junior year of high school, I started having Tics. Later that year we went to a specialist who then diagnosed me with Tourette’s Syndrome and another “rare” childhood disorder called paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia. This disorder causes my muscles to uncontrollably clench, leaving me immobile and sore for days. This is when I started looking for a company to train the dog I already had. I searched and search and finally found Glad Wags. Now, Glad Wags is based in Oklahoma...and I live all the way in Wyoming...unsure of how they Would train my dog, I called and explained everything I had going on. Marj, my trainer, explained that she had trained a couple of dogs over seas and would be willing to have me try to train Yankie with her help. She slowly started to give me information and I eagerly began to train my puppy. It’s been 5 months and we are thriving together!! Yankie has saved me from multiple falls and knows exactly when I’m gonna have an attack before I even know it’s coming! I am so so thankful for everything Marj and the Glad Wags family has done for me. This tight knit group has given me so much love and support. And Yankie has given me hope for a closer to normal life. Glad Wags literally saves lives and I’m so grateful to be apart of something so amazing.
My name is Addison and 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 Tourette’s 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 Tourette’s service dog, my family and I were frustrated to find only 2 Tourette’s service dog trainers in the U.S. of which were overpriced 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 Tourette’s service dog, Marj Satterfield. Marj 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 am stressed, depressed, or anxious, immediately making me stop what I am doing and focus on him, to prevent an attack. Barry is not only my service dog, he is a lifelong companion that will enable me to live a “normal for me” life.
My name is Emily and I have Tourette's Syndrome, a neurological condition that once prevented me from living my best life but then I met Marj and my life changed.
Tourette's service dog trainers are scarce and unbelievably expensive. I needed help and I needed it soon. She introduced me to my service dog, Damian- a very special boy, my best friend.
Before Marj and Damian, I couldn't attend college because of my disability. My legs would paralyze and I would fall and have psychogenic seizures. I would have tics where I would hurt myself and they would change weekly. I felt like I could not control my life because I couldn't even control my own body: I was wrong – with a Service Dog I can!
Damian senses before every seizing episode. He lays down on me if I fall and stops the seizure. He can tell when my legs are going to give out and when I am overwhelmed.
Just recently, I developed a new tic where I punch my face. As soon as it began, Damian began intercepting them - having me pet him instead.
Damian is my everything and Marj changed my life for the better. I am incredibly thankful for Marj and Glad Wags Service Dog Family.