Spotlight on Hetty – Seizure Alert and Guide Dog

I’m really excited that Hetty has agreed to be my guest today. She is an award-winning dog doing very special work. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about her and the work she does. Put your paws together and give her a warm Clowie’s Corner welcome!

Hetty - Dual Assistance Dog

Hetty – Dual Assistance Dog

Clowie: Thank you for being my guest today, Hetty. Would you like to tell us about yourself?

Hetty: I am a black Golden Retriever cross Labrador Retriever aged 3.5 years. I was bred by Guide Dogs and puppy walked in Scotland before moving to Sheffield for my advanced training.

C: I’ve seen puppies in training and I was very impressed. The puppy walkers do a great job of socialising and preparing the puppies. Why were you chosen?

Hetty: I was selected for my high initiative, intelligence & super turbo work drive!
I met my mum when I was 17 months old whilst I was completing my Guide Dog training with Guide Dogs and starting my seizure alert training with Support Dogs. I trained with her for six weeks and qualified as a Guide Dog when I was 21 months old.

C: That’s impressive! You continued training after that?

Hetty: I completed my seizure alert training at 26 months and became the UK’s first dually trained Guiding Seizure Alert Dog. I give my mum 42 minutes warning of a major seizure and 15 minutes warning of a minor seizure.

C: That’s amazing! How do you warn her?

Hetty: To alert to a minor seizure I repeatedly rest my head on her knee, if it’s a major seizure I head rest initially to get her attention and then I touch her with my front paws.

C: It must be very helpful for her to have a warning.

Hetty: Yes, and I can alert to mum’s allergic reactions, I can guide her safely in even the busiest of areas, like rush hour in London, and I also do task work such as taking off her socks and loading and unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, fetching named items, fetching her medicine, etc.

C: Wow! I can see why you received the Guardian Angel Award! Would you tell us about your family?

Hetty:  I live with my mum Tony, dad Dan, my two girlies, Mum’s retired dog Arthur whose nickname is Goldilocks because he’s gold and loves porridge! Big girlie has a Springer cross Lab called Merlin, he is an Autism Assistance dog and is a little hooligan when not working. We have two cats, James and Mr Tiddles, three chickens, Doris, Hilda and Eggy and a rescue ferret called Boris!

C: That’s quite an assortment of animals, with some great names!

Here are some photographs that Hetty has shared with us, some at work and some at play. Click on any of them to see a larger version.

Hetty:  We live in a small village surrounded by fields full of bunnies & squirrels!

C: That sounds nice. Do you have a favourite game?

Hetty: I love all toys, especially softies, I enjoy swimming & running around the countryside as fast as I possibly can. I love sticks although mum doesn’t let me play with them she lets me take my safestix with me in runs!

C: I enjoy doing all of those things. I can see from the photographs you’ve shared with us that you know how to have fun when you’re not working.  Do you have a favourite book?

Hetty: My favourite books are anything by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. I listen to these curled up in little girlie’s bed at story time, they are great!

Time for a story

Time for a story

C: That sounds like a lovely way to relax! Thank you so much for being my guest today, Hetty.

You can follow Hetty on Twitter – @Hetty_BG

Other links:

See you next Wednesday!

99 Comments

  1. Hetty is amazing! I was following her on Twitter before I found out that she was such an amazing dog after reading an article about her. I just find it so amazing… I didn’t know that she was able to unload the dishwasher – that is so awesome! Great interview Clowie, thanks for sharing.

  2. Clowie, thank you so much for introducing us to Hetty – she is a very impressive girl. We have friends that foster guide dog puppies and have heard of alert dogs but never seen the two combined! What a marvellous thing she does. Great to see her at play too – what a fun family she lives with 😀

    • I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Hetty – she is incredible. Your friends do a very important job in socialising and preparing the puppies for their specialised training.

  3. What a houseful!
    And Hetty does make Raffles and I look rather ‘ornamental’ than useful!
    Does emptying the food cupboards count? I’m sure I could do that if I tried very hard.

    • Hetty does amazing work! I don’t see why emptying the food cupboards shouldn’t count. I do a very good job of keeping the kitchen floor clean. I always keep a watch when the bipeds are cooking and clean up any spills quickly.

  4. What a fantastic household.. Hetty is a darling, just love the pictures Clowie 🙂 My friend Gary has a guide dog, they are magnificent, could teach Mollie a thing or two..LOL Great interview, loved it. See ya next week 🙂 xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  5. Very interesting. What an amazing doggy. Our Mummy actually has episodes like seizures, maybe one day whee will be trained to warn her about them!

    Nibbles, Nutty,.Buddy & Basil
    xxxx

  6. Wow Hetty is amazing. We say Bravo clever pup. Thanks for sharing this post Clowie. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. What a wonderful interview! Hetty is beautiful and amazing. She is truly a darling to everyone and her family is huge!

  8. I think that Hetty and all dogs that do that sort of work are just incredible!!! Pls tell Hetty that Shelties come from Scotland! 🙂 Barks and licks and love, Dakota

    • Dogs who do such special jobs are an inspiration! I’ll tell Hetty what a cute Sheltie you are! But you’re on Twitter so you can say hi to her and compare notes about Scotland.

  9. How very special Hetty and all special needs trained dogs are……I’m in awe! It looks like she has a very wonderful family to live with and I know they are proud of her special skills too. What a great interview Clowie!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  10. Those dogs are simply pawsome!

  11. Great post, gorgeous photos!

  12. Great interview … and how great to have a guest with a job on Labor day (it’s a holiday here today) What a beautiful girl :o) Thanks Clowie for this fabulous post :o)

  13. I’ve been following Hetty on Twitter but didn’t really know about all her training and what an amazing dog she is…I’ve shared her story everywhere today…Thank you Clowie!

  14. What a great dog you are, Hetty! It’s so amazing how dogs can detect seizures. BTW, I love that photo of you with sand all over your nose. LOL!

  15. Lovely interview. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Wow, what a great interview, Clowie. It looks like Hetty works hard and plays hard.

  17. I enjoyed your interview with Hetty Clowie. That is quite a family. Hetty has a very big responsibility there. I do see a kitty on the bed.. 🙂

  18. What a great interview! Hetty is a super dog! Thanks for interviewing her so wes gots to know her better!
    Kisses
    Nellie

  19. We love Hetty and wanna know where she got her makeup, BOL, sand on our faces is or fav.Wag wag, Max & Bella (oh my, Max & Bella just want to play with this gorgeous girl who is an angel indeed. Loved meeting her here. Once again, Clowier you’ve outdone yourself with such a lovely inspiring guest-biped, Paulette)

    • I love that photo with the sand – it looks such fun! Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed hearing about Hetty – she does such amazing work.

  20. That is a terrific interview Clowie. Our Mom puppy walked a lab that was meant to be trained for a blind person. It is very hard training but this dog sounds just amazing and what a good job she does. Great post. Thanks.

  21. Great interview, my sweet Clowie! Welldone! Hetty is very cute and pretty smart as far as I can see… Seeing that you are a great reporter too…

  22. Sheba's life story.

    Great interview thanks for sharing, i enjoyed learning more about Hetty.

    Sheba.

  23. Hetty is wicked smart! It took me 3 years to learn to fetch the ball when Mom throws it. So, yeah – she’s WICKED smart! Wow! Great interview, Clowie!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  24. That was a great interview, Clowie. I saw Hetty on the Animal Awards show and was amazed at her intelligence and care. She is very special 🙂

  25. Oh my goodness, Hetty is one amazing pup! I love learning about pups who have such important jobs; what wonderful things we canines can do 🙂

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