August 7-13th recognized as International Assistance Dog Week

Zern, an Assistance Dog, was personally honored by City Council for his efforts. Zern is a seizure alert dog, and can forecast when his owner is going to have a seizure, allowing him to give a warning and possibly save a life. (Photo by J.T. Gomez/Clovis Roundup)

At the latest Clovis City Council meeting, a whole demographic of Clovis was recognized for their efforts in providing a safer community, as well as bringing joy to countless others. International Assistance Dog Week (IADW) is a week created to recognize the “devoted, hardworking Assistance Dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability related limitations”. 

Goals of this week, in addition to recognizing Assistance Dogs across the nation, include honoring puppy raisers and trainers, and raising awareness and educating the public about Assistance Dogs. 

Councilmember Drew Bessinger read the proclamation to the gathered crowd in Council chambers. 

“Whereas Assistance Dogs transform the lives of their partners, with physical and mental disabilities, they serve as devoted companions, helpers, aides, best friends, and close family members…now therefore be it resolved the week of August 7th through 13th, 2022 as International Assistance Dog Week.”

Assistance Dogs can help alert owners of possible seizures, as well as assisting with other medical conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety attacks and post traumatic stress.

Such as is the case with a member of the Clovis community who suffers from epilepsy. His Assistance Dog, Zern, a seizure alert dog, is able to give a warning that a seizure is incoming. This allows Zern’s owner to lay down and not be critically injured from the upcoming seizure, possibly saving his life at times. 

“He then lays across my knees and won’t let me get up until the seizure is over…He gives me balance and support so that I won’t fall over.”

These amazing animals truly have life saving capabilities and a week’s worth of recognition almost seems too little in terms of proper thanks for these heroes. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Lynne Ashbeck joked, “Can we keep Zern here for the rest of the meeting? I feel he could comfort us all.”

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.