The Devine High School Prom had an extra special guest this year, which has changed the life of one local teen, who shared the awesome ways that service dogs can help. Milo was the “star of the show”, traveling along with Paige Freas and her date Christopher Ortiz. He looks awfully cute in a tie, but we wanted to also put a spotlight on some of the amazing things this service dog, and others, do on a daily basis.
Paige shared a little about her story and the amazing dog she named Milo.
“February 1st, 2019 was the day I got the dog who would change my life,” Freas said. “From the moment I met him I knew he was going to give me so much independence I never thought I would be able to have. Milo picked up on training very quickly; it was almost like he knew what I was going through and he knew he could help.”
“Milo helps me in so many ways, from alerting me before I have a medical episode to responding to my attacks. He alerts me to a high heart rate, and applies deep pressure therapy in the event of an episode to lower my heart rate. He also helps me calm down quicker,” Freas explained.
When he senses an attack coming on, Milo applies his body weight to her legs during a mild episode.
“But if he thinks that I’m not calming down fast enough, he will jump on me until I lay down so he can lay over my chest,” Freas said. “He is a huge help.”
“He has opened so many doors in life that I thought would stay locked. He really is my best friend. He takes his job very seriously, but he also gets to be a fun loving dog when he is off-duty,” Freas said.
Service dogs like Milo are highly trained and can take up to two years to be fully trained, Freas explained. She also reminds citizens that distracting a service dog can be extremely dangerous for the handler. Distracting doesn’t limit to petting, as making kissy noises, calling, or even prolonged eye contact can also be ways a service dog could get distracted.
By Kayleen Holder