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 thoughts on “Spotlight on Hetty – Seizure Alert and Guide Dog

  1. 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.

    • Thank you! The people that look after the puppies before they have their specialised training do a very important job.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

  6. Clowie that was a super interview! Hetty you’re awesome such a blessing to mum you should be knighted! Sir Hetty!

  7. What a wonderful interview and such amazing things dogs are doing these days. I bet her Master and friend is so relieved to noe have a way to tell a seizure is coming and prepare. Before it wast a guessing game and I’m sure pleaded the things she could do never knowing when a seizure was coming. Now she has more freedom and flexibility. What a wonderful thing Hetty has brought into her life; and the love and play and loving relationship Hetty has gotten in return.
    What a wonderful guest interview Clowie and thank you for bringing it to us 🙂

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed hearing about Hetty. She does do amazing work and it makes a big difference to her family, she is very special.

      • We are very special to our families and they to us. We love them deeply and are always watching out for them. But these wonderful dogs have a skill that we have not been trained for where they can help save a life before any has taken place, pretty amazing:-)

  8. OMC! Clowie, you did such a great job with this interview. I never ever knew one woofy could do all those things; truly Hetty is a very special girl. Thanks Clowie

  9. A doubly well trained dog – she obviously benefits her whole family – not everyone can appreciate a good book like Hettie does.
    Sounds like you are helping your family the same way the pups here help Clowie – no crumb gets to settle on the kitchen floor here either!

    • She is an amazing dog!
      I do take clearing up after my bipeds very seriously – I’d do the worktop as well, but they don’t like that!

  10. Hetty really IS an angel! And I love that they have chickens. 🙂 Thank you for sharing her story!

  11. Wow, what a pawesome doggy!

  12. Hetty is amazing 🙂 Unconditional Love xx

  13. That’s a great interview and what an amazing pup! Pawsome story to share! Purrs…

  14. Wow, What an amazing partner to have!! What a great story! Love the interview and photos too!

  15. Hetty is an amazing companion! I had no idea dog could help with the laundry and dishes like that. And the ability to sense when someone will have a seizure is astounding. There’s so much we can learn about ourselves if we pay attention to animals’ abilities.

    • Animals do have amazing abilities and there is a lot that humans don’t understand about them. Hetty is remarkable, her presence must make so much difference!

  16. Whoa! Hetty is pawsome!!! He can actually SENSE a seizure and react.

  17. Wow, that was a neat interview to read. I really liked the photo gallery as well.

  18. Hetty is an absolutely amazing dog! How lucky her mom is to have her too. We are so impressed with the varied types of things she can do – even helping with socks! Keep up the good work! And thanks, Clowie, for sharing her story with us.

  19. Thank goodness for Hetty, she’s doing such an important job. I loved all the photo’s, especially the ones with her pals. The good people who train these wonderful dogs need a BRAVO too.

    • She does do a very important job. I’ll join you in saying a big ‘bravo’ for all the people involved in training dogs like her – the people involved in the specialist training, also the people that foster and socialise the puppies in preparation for their special training.

  20. What an awesome and lovely dog! Great interview Clowie and beautiful photos – a dog in a million! 🙂

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