It was the perfect storm. My daughter, Alli was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a couple of months before her Freshman year of college. Our family had very little knowledge about Celiac. We researched and learned a lot in a short period of time. We thought we understood Celiac, but in reality we didn’t understand the depth of how cross contamination was still creeping into her life and keeping her sick.
In college Alli continued to experience pain and weight loss. Already thin, she lost another 10% of her body weight in three months. She came to visit and it was clear that her pain was worse and despite being “gluten free” she was declining. She was then diagnosed with a rare syndrome called SMAS. This syndrome was directly related to the extreme weight loss caused by cross contaminated food. Alli had a feeding tube placed in hopes of gaining weight. Diagnosed with a disease, a rare syndrome and a feeding tube within five months was indeed her perfect storm.
Alli called me one day and told me she had heard that dogs could be trained to detect gluten. I began my research. After calling a few places I found Kathy at Nosey Dog Detections Services. Kathy was responsive, informative and empathetic about Alli’s situation. She explained how she trained the dogs and how successful the dogs had been for her clients with various allergies and auto immune conditions. She was kind and helpful. I was able to talk with other families who had purchased a dog from Kathy. I had found Kathy and others who truly understood Celiac. I learned more about cross contamination and the ways in which it shows up in foods and products. We realized that cross contamination wasn’t manageable by information and our energy alone. We needed a detection dog.
Kathy worked with us and within six weeks we were in Wyoming picking up Agni, a 1.5 year old yellow lab. Kathy was supportive and accommodating to our needs. Kathy brought Agni to us at the hotel. From that moment Alli and Agni began to bond. Over the next few days Kathy spent time teaching Alli how to work with Agni. Kathy took us to stores, restaurants and public places. Alli and Agni also had time alone on the trip to fall in love.
The Rainbow after the Storm: Fast forward a few months later, Alli was able to gain weight and have her feeling tube removed, feel secure and confident that her food, drink and products are safe for her. Because of Agni, she was able to avoid cross contamination for the longest period since her diagnosis. Alli has returned to college with Agni by her side.
So, how do you write a testimonial for a woman whose work and passion changes lives forever? How do I express my deep gratitude for her kindness, patience and support? I am not sure I did it justice but I can tell you, if you are thinking about a detection dog, pick up the phone, call Kathy. You’ll learn more about what she does and how she helps people. Perhaps it will be the rainbow for your storm.
Our deepest thanks,