Disabled man uses new voice technology to command service dog when seizures leave him unable to speak

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Service dog responds to electronic commands - Health News
Duncan with service dog Gibson who has provided a vital lifeline. (Image supplied)

AN ASSISTANCE dog user has trained his pooch to respond to electronically recorded commands for when his seizures leave him unable to speak.

Duncan Delooze, 52, suffers from a rare condition called ‘hemiplegic’ migraines, which mimics a stroke and often leave him unable to speak.

The potentially life-threatening episodes occur between times 20-25 a month, but luckily service dog Gibson is on hand to help his owner out.

Gibson will quickly ‘fetch’ Duncan’s medicine bag to prevent a seizure and thanks to a special button device, he even responds to recordings of Duncan’s voice.

The idea came about through Dogs for Good, who matched Duncan and Gibson.

Duncan, from Somerset, explained: “Jane, my Instructor from Dogs for Good, recently came up with a great solution for when I struggle during a Hemiplegic migraine, to say the command “fetch my Meds”.

“She told me that you can buy small heptagonal shaped buttons which have small voice recorders inside.

“They are specifically aimed at helping children with speech impediments and language difficulties.

“So, after Jane’s last visit I ordered a voice recorder button online. It now has a soundtrack of me saying “fetch my meds”, several times.

“I have to admit when I first played it to Gibson, he just looked at me like I had lost my mind!”

However, after some encouragement, Gibson quickly learned and the system has been in place ever since.

Duncan, added: “I am now intrigued to see how many voice-command buttons I can program for Gibbs to respond to.

“He already knows the names to half a dozen toys, which he will fetch when a particular name is mentioned.

“I have also now begun teaching Gibson visual commands for when I lose the ability to speak during a Hemiplegic episode.”