Rochester business trains service dogs to save lives

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Extraordinary People- Dogworks trains service dogs_73264222-118809282

“I always thought of myself as very independent and then when Tabi came along she gave me a lot more independence,” says Lindy Zulick. 

Zulick was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 11. Twice, she has had seizures because of low glucose levels after she slept. But, she found a companion, a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) who provides reassurance. 

Zulick tells News 8, “I could’ve died both times, which is very scary. Tabi takes away all of that fear away from me when I go to bed.”

“It still gives me chills every time I hear there’s and alert, especially with children, really anybody. It means so much that the dog is doing a job equipment can’t even do,” Jody Filonovich says. 

Filonovich and her husband have specialized in scent based dog training for more than two decades. Inspired by a former neighbor, a diabetic, they started training DADs at Dogworks.

They work with the dogs at all hours of the day and night, training them in different scenarios and locations. They teach the dogs to smell their owner’s blood glucose level, and when it starts to dip dangerously low. 

“It’s no replacement for any medical device but the love and companionship of a dog being a lifesaver and a service dog is pretty special,” Filonovich says.

“I wear a continuous glucose monitor and she’s gotten a low before the monitor has before and she’s just another safety net for me and it’s awesome,” adds Zulick.

Zulick is only one of the many happy clients whose lives have been changed, and saved by their DAD. They’re forever grateful for Dogworks. 

“Taking all of that training and knowledge and putting it into a dog and giving them a purpose and a job that is so important, far outweighs any award or title you could win,” said Zulick.

Dogworks recently moved to Victor to expand the business and better serve the needs of their clients. To learn more about service dogs and Dogworks, click here.

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