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The bond between human and service dog is completely different from any other. So when Claire went to her high school prom this past month, it only made sense that Percie came with her.
According to a story in The Dodo, Percie is a medical alert dog who uses her intuition to know when Claire’s disability might come into play.
“A large part of my disability are anxiety-derived ‘episodes,’ which can best be described as panic attacks,” Claire told The Dodo. “Percie can detect my cortisol levels and lets me know when an episode is about to happen based on my levels. This gives me the advantage of knowing before the episode occurs so I can take measures to lessen its severity.”
Although things never got too bad for Claire during the prom, Percie still kept her eyes and her nose on her, even letting her know when he started to sense her anxiety building at points.
“She helped me during prom by alerting me several times, which she does by excessively pawing or nudging me with her nose,” Claire told The Dodo. “She performed ‘blocks’ or ‘covers’ by moving her body into positions that prevent people from getting too close while I recovered from less severe, short episodes.”
Claire hopes that Percie, who has gone viral on Instagram, can be an example that spreads the word about the wonders of service dogs.
“I hope to educate the public about service dogs and invisible disabilities, but I also want to help others feel less alone and more valid in their battle,” she said. “I’m not weaker because of my disability or because I have a service dog, I’m actually a lot stronger.”
Images via: Instagram/@Service.angel.Percie