Caoimhe came to me as a 4 month old boxer mix. I later did her DNA to discover that her other half is Afghan. She is all boxer in looks and temperment however. The only parts that appear to be Afghan are her long hind legs and the mush mouth of a sight hound.
Caoimhe was born at the pound, adopted at 3 months and that family started having financial difficulties. They advertised on Craigs List and I grabbed her up fast.
I choose Caoimhe because I needed a dog to replace Brynda as the teacher dog in all the classes and for the board and train dogs. Caoimhe excelled at this until she was injured one day, at around 18 months old, by a big dog. An ACL tear put her out of business.
She is long healed of that injury and her training didnt stop while injured but she couldn't romp around for nearly a year.
Caoimhe learned all that a service puppy in training learns. In addition to her duties as the helper/teacher dog, I expected that one day she would replace Micah as my personal service dog. Because of that she also learned about blood sugar levels and how to alert to them. She excelled at spotting on oncoming migraine and even figured out how to alert to a sneezing fit all on her own.
During her early months, I saw an advertisement from the Pine Street Foundation offering to train people in how to train a dog to detect cancer. So I went, and came home to teach Caoimhe all about detecting cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
She also taught me. She taught me that cancer is cancer. That it doesn't matter where in the body it is or what species the cancer is in. It all smells the same. Since that training she has alerted to over 200 samples of cancer from dogs and cats and even figured out on her own how to live alert to humans who have cancer. Her success rate in detecting cancer in samples is 92%.
When Caoimhe was 30 months old, Martina contacted me asking if I could train a dog for her. I talked to her mother Loretta about the disease that Martina has and what we could do in training Caoimhe to help Martina.
4 months later, after learning 4 new smells and two new alerts, I flew Caoimhe to Maine to be with Martina. It has been a mutual love affair since.
Featured Service Dog
‘I feel way more independent with Keeva she is always on alert’ Martina Baker went from isolation to being a normal teen thanks to this highly trained service dog. Keeva is trained to alert to scents before a potentially fatal allergic reaction
A whiff of a certain scent or taking a shower can send the 15-year old into anaphylactic shock which can be fatal. Martina Baker is now facing the world again with a very special four-legged companion
Allergic to 'almost everything', including heat, cleaning products, perfumes and cooking oils, even a whiff could send her into anaphylactic shock.
The teenager, from Maine, must wear a mask outdoors, and has lost friends and missed school because of her condition.
Martina Baker was perfectly normal until she started suffering terrifying reactions just over two years ago
Martina Baker, a 15-year-old from Maine, needs service dog Keeva to help protect her from her severe and potentially deadly allergies. Martina suffers from a rare condition called mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), which causes her to have allergic reactions to everyday things like perfume, flowers, recently mowed grass and cleaning supplies. She uses a mask when she's out in public to block the different smells. InsideEdition.com's Leigh Scheps
A canine’s sense of smell is great for a lot of things, whether it’s detecting changes in blood sugar or even sniffing out illegal drugs. But for teenager Martina Baker who happens to be deathly allergic to almost everything, her service dog Caiomhe is a lifesaver.
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