Guide dog 'very important' to young man
© Submitted photo
Ethan Douglas and his dog Texas (both centre) pose with their hockey team for this team portrait. Texas tags along to all of Ethan's games and watches him play.
Caronport resident Ethan Douglas, 12, shares a special bond with his golden retriever, Texas.
“I have epilepsy. I have seizures,” said Douglas. “Texas barks for help when I have them.”
Texas is a specially-trained dog guide who has been taught to alert people for help when his handler, Ethan, has an epileptic seizure. He has been an important fixture in Ethan’s life for a year and a half.
Texas lives with Ethan and his family, including his mother Yvonne, his father Curtis, and his siblings Braydan, Caitlyn, Sarah, Emet and Drake.
For the most part, Texas is solely Ethan’s responsibility — a responsibility that Yvonne said has been beneficial for her son.
“It’s definitely matured him a lot, because he is the only one that can care for Texas,” she said. “Ethan has had the flu a couple of times or he’s had a seizure and he’s out of commission for a day. In those cases, we’re allowed to feed Texas or see to his relief breaks. But it’s mostly up to Ethan.”
“Texas goes everywhere with me,” said Ethan, including tagging along to school and his hockey games.
“Texas ‘watches Ethan’ while he’s playing sports,” explained Yvonne. “Ethan gives the command, ‘Say hi to mom,’ and then I take Texas’s leash and he sits with our family during the games and watches Ethan play.”
Ethan also plays football and basketball, participates in track meets and school field trips, and attends Bible camp — all with Texas in tow.
“Busy boy, busy dog,” said Yvonne.
For more of this story, pick up a copy of tomorrow's Times-Herald.