'Superstar' dog helps prevent owner's seizures and migraines

Duncan and Gibson at home in Somerset. Credit: ITV News

A man from Coxley in Somerset, who lives with chronic nerve pain and extreme migraines, says his life has been transformed by a black labrador.

Duncan De Looze, who also lives with chronic fatigue, admits life was hard before he met Gibson. He says everyday tasks like emptying the washing machine were causing extreme amounts of pain.

He said: "It builds throughout the day and life is miserable. It got to the stage where I didn't leave the house. I didn't leave my bedroom."

After being paired with Gibson, Duncan's life changed dramatically. Their bond is so strong that Gibson can recognise when Duncan is about to have a seizure, even bringing medication before it has happened.

"Maybe there's something chemically going on, or maybe I make some sound, or my body posture changes, I'm not sure, but he's right there with my meds," Duncan said.

"I started to have seizures with my migraines and the first time I had a seizure he climbed up on the bed and laid down to try and stop me from seizing. That's why he's a superstar."

'Dogs for Good' train dogs to help adults with a range of disabilities as well as children with autism. But training is an expensive process.

Instructor Jane Pawling said: "It's about £26,000 for the training of the dog for a lifetime. So the costs do mount up and with Covid-19 things are a little bit difficult for the charity."

The charity hopes more people in the South West can have their lives changed in the same way Duncan's has been. Gibson is now his constant partner, and no one can imagine it any other way.

  • Watch Ben McGrail's report here: