Landon Carroll was born with a rare genetic disorder known as tuberous sclerosis which prevents the suppression of tumor growth. Because of this, Landon has multiple noncancerous tumors in different organs of his body which then cause daily seizures. That was why he and his mom, Tabatha, needed to drive for four hours to Duke Children’s Hospital for treatment once every month.
Tabatha knew that Landon needed a seizure alert dog and it was like fate did the work for her. She unexpectedly came into contact with another mom who had a son that had the same seizure condition as Landon. The two supported each other and through her posts, Shasta was able to really see how helpful it was to have a service dog.
Upon exploring her options, she came upon Eyes Ears Nose and Paws (EENP) who train both service dogs. She immediately applied and after getting accepted, she and Landon attended a client team training where they met dogs who were all ready to start their service journey. And when they met Shasta, it was definitely love at first sight.
The first time they met her she came over and bumped her. At the time, Tabatha didn’t know what it meant but after an hour, Landon had a seizure. And that was when she understood that the bump was actually an alert for an oncoming seizure.
So, she was really happy when Shasta got paired with them on Match Day. And for the next ten days, they worked together to train. Tabatha was Shasta’s official handler but she was trained to alert her when Landon is about to have a seizure. Additionally, Shasta was also trained to respond to Landon if he ever tells her to go and get help.
Thanks to Shasta, Landon now enjoys the independence and freedom that a 7-year-old needs. And as for Tabatha, she is relieved of all the stress and anxiety that she had built up over the years. Now, she and her husband have peace of mind knowing that Landon is always safe as long as Shasta is with him.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot