Monday, 15 August 2022
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Valencia Woman To Get Service Dog After Community Fundraiser

Courtney Golin, a Valencia resident living with a variety of health conditions, recently reached a $17,000 goal set to purchase a service dog to detect her seizures before and after they happen.

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Now that the fundraising efforts have been met, the next step in getting the service dog will be training for Golin and the pup – which has not been born yet.

Related: Santa Clarita Family Seeking Assistance For Service Dog To Detect Seizures

4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization based in Xenia, Ohio, trains service dogs to assist individuals with special needs.

Dogs born at 4 Paws for Ability first go through a “Puppy Raiser” program, which puts service dogs into homes for basic obedience until they are ready for advanced training, according to training staff.

Golin is scheduled to attend a 10-day training class in 2020, where she will meet her dog for the first time.

Even before Golin sees her new dog, it will be familiar with her. Dogs going through the training process are familiarized with their owners at a young age by sniffing clothing given by the family.

Golin’s family was instructed to send the clothing she was wearing during a previous seizure for the dog to practice recognizing her scent.

Debra Golin, Courtney’s mother, wasn’t surprised with the tremendous support her daughter received from the Santa Clarita community.

Related: ‘4 Paws For Ability’ Calls Out To Santa Clarita Community For Aid

“I was pleased by the generosity of the Santa Clarita community,” Debra Golin said. “I have always known that our community actively supports those in need because I myself have participated in many fundraisers, nonprofits and community events to help those in need of help.”

Golin has been anticipating the moment she gets to meet her companion, and is waiting to find out the breed that will be her new friend.

“Courtney is so excited and anxious as to what dog she will receive,” her mother said. “It could be a large dog like a labrador, golden retriever, possibly a goldendoodle … or  a smaller dog like a papillon.”

When the dog is born, the family will be updated with the name and breed of the service animal.

“She doesn’t know if it’s going to be a boy or girl,” Debra Golin said. “And its name is given at birth, so as soon as it is born we will start receiving specific details and pictures.”

When alerted to a seizure, the canine will begin to bark, alerting anyone nearby that Golin is or will soon be in distress.

“The dog will be trained to notify Courtney and/or another person that she is about to have a seizure, which will allow us, or possibly Courtney, enough time to use her Vagel nerve stimulator to stop the seizure from occurring at all,” Debra Golin said. “If a seizure does occur, the dog will be trained to get Courtney sitting or in a safe position and notify others she is having a seizure.”

The family is preparing for a second round of fundraising to pay for the 10-day trip to meet the dog, during which Golin will receive training on caring for a service animal.

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