Adele, a black Labrador Retriever, was the first cardiac alert service dog in the United States. Trained from a puppy through Canine Partners for Life, she was able to join a family, once she graduated, at two years old. The family she joined had a young mom who had been diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, a chronic condition that causes frequent fainting. With Adele’s ability to recognize a change in scent or sound, she can detect the warning signs before the fainting occurs.
Taking a drive to a nearby shelter with Adele in tow, they set out to find the perfect dog. Upon arrival, Adele began to inspect all of the dogs. She was methodical in guiding her mom to every cage, around every corner, to observe each dog. Approaching one cage, Adele noticed a four-year-old Collie. Her body language spoke volumes. Adele had made her selection. Within minutes, she settled down in front of the Collie’s cage. She wasn’t moving until it was confirmed that this dog was coming home.
The Collie, now named Chewbacca, became a wonderful family dog. Adele and Chewbacca, Chewy for short, were instantly fast friends. Both have now been part of the family for eight years. They understand their defined roles. They both provide the unconditional gift of comfort, security and companionship.