A pet dog has learned to care for its owner, untying her shoelaces and loading the washing machine, after she collapsed unexpectedly aged just 15.
Megan Taylor was at a Remembrance Sunday service almost 10 years ago, when she collapsed and was left with a fractured skull and permanent damage to her vision, hearing and balance.
She now suffers from regular fainting episodes and with her daily tasks impaired, she thought her beloved pet Border Collie cross Australian Kelpie, Ruby, could help.
Meghan signed Ruby up with the charity Dog A.I.D, which helps people with disabilities to train their own dogs to become fully qualified Assistance Dogs.
With help from a volunteer trainer, Ruby was taught how to pick up dropped items, take socks and trainers off, empty the washing machine, untie shoelaces, and most importantly – she’s able to push an emergency button to get help whenever Megan faints.
Megan, from Kingston-Upon-Thames, said: “Ruby helped me to regain my independence, and because of her I finally felt safe in my own home again.
“I went from being unable to untie my shoelaces or bend down without becoming dizzy, to being able to live my life as before alongside Ruby.”
Ruby also spent three years volunteering as a Community Therapy Dog, bringing comfort and friendship to hundreds of people in care homes each week.
Now that Ruby is 10-years-old, she is enjoying her well-earned retirement as Megan’s pet dog, with Rowley, a black Labrador, taking over the Assistance Dog duties.