It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to Luna and Jordan. Luna is a nine month old, long-haired German Shepherd puppy who is on an important journey with her handler and owner, Jordan, to become a Service Dog.
Jordan, a 17-year old high school senior at West Springfield High School, has POTS disorder (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). POTS is a somewhat common disorder, but is commonly misdiagnosed and has numerous symptoms that interfere with normal life. Jordan cannot stand or walk for long periods of time, which prohibits her from regularly attending high school classes and being an active part of extracurricular activities. Normal things like taking a shower become difficult—she is at risk of blacking out, having significant blood pool painfully in her extremities, and an extremely elevated heart rate with minimal physical movement. With her heart rate so high she also has issues with memory and brain fog.
This is where Luna comes in!
Luna is being trained as a Medical Alert and Emergency Response Service Dog by the professional trainers at Dogs Downtown in Chantilly. She is in training to alert to elevated heart rate, to provide assistance after syncope (loss of consciousness), to retrieve medications and necessary objects, to assist balance when Jordan is feeling light-headed, and to alert others who might be able to help when Jordan is in distress.
So far, Luna has learned to retrieve medication bottles, her leash and dropped items. By assisting in these areas, Jordan does not have to bend down, avoiding a rush of blood to the head, which can cause her to black out!
Luna also can turn on the lights for Jordan, open and close cabinets, and press the Handicapped switch in public places! She is learning how to help Jordan when she is on her feet, sitting, in a wheel chair, or any other assistive mobility device. She still has a ways to go, but her and Jordan are tackling it together!
When Luna is not helping Jordan, she prefers to be called Loony Boony or Pretty Lady, and to play with all of her friends, especially the other labs in training at Dog’s Downtown! She is also guilty of destroying her favorite stuffed animal toys – by loving on them too much!
When you see Service Dogs like Luna in public, show them respect and don’t stare, take photos or distract them; dogs like Luna have an important job to focus on! You can read more about the important roles of Service and Assistance Dogs in our community here.
Please support Jordan and Luna in their journey by donating to their GoFundMe. Monies raised assist with Luna’s training at Dog’s Downtown. https://www.gofundme.com/get-Jordan-a-medical-service-dog
The trainers at Dog’s Downtown focus on training dogs that will be good citizens in the home and out in the world, whether that be as a pet, a therapy dog, or a Service Dog. If you are in need of a Service Dog or have any questions about training a Service Dog, Dog’s Downtown has the experience, expertise, and professionalism to train and to assist owner-trainers like Luna and Jordan. Visit their website (http://www.dogsdowntownva.com) to learn more.