Toby the Seizure Detecting Service Dog

When this family brought Toby home, they had no idea how special he’d turn out to be. Toby is a service dog that can detect seizures before they occur.

Parker + Toby

When I was nine, my whole world changed in an instant. I went from being a normal, average boy to having epilepsy. I had to change my whole life, but a year into that change I got the best gift ever: I got a dog named Toby.

"Toby may look like a normal, average boy, too, but he’s not. He’s Toby the Great. "

Toby may look like a normal, average boy, too, but he’s not. He’s Toby the Great. We looked at many dogs until we found Toby. At first my mom said he was not the right dog for our family because he was hyper (he could jump six feet from a sit!). He had no manners and he had just been treated for a doggy cold, but we saw something more behind all the naughty behavior.

We took Toby home and began working with him right away. Toby was smart, and he learned tricks and commands faster than I could teach them. We knew he was going to be great. A few weeks went by and my mom noticed that before I had a seizure, Toby would begin to act kind of naughty. He would jump on me or grab my Mom’s hand and try to herd us all into a room. That is when our dog trainer told us that Toby is REALLY great. He was detecting my seizures before they happened!

My life changed again that day. I could finally sleep in my room alone, just me and Toby. I can go out and ride my bike, just me and Toby. Toby’s life changed too. He went from a being a stray dog, to a rescue, to the most important part of my medical team. Our family rescued Toby but he really rescued me.

Each year, Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Parker Rogers won Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno in California a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.