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From the Parker County Sheriff's Office
Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler and animal control officer Terry Pena are being commended by Sheriff Larry Fowler for assisting in a woman’s need for medical attention.
Kessler will tell you she is not the hero, but a 5-year-old German shepherd named Bear. The dog was found wandering Saturday morning, May 28, 2011, in Millsap while Kessler and Pena were responding to an unrelated call.
Kessler said when she found Bear, she observed his tags identifying him as a medical service animal and immediately knew she had to find his owner.
The tags and microchip contained outdated contact information, so Kessler and Pena quickly resorted to knocking on doors. Moments later, they found a female who appeared extremely disoriented, confused, staggering and in need of immediate medical attention. The woman, later identified as Deborah Zeisler, tried to refuse medical treatment at first, but Kessler and Pena were insistent on calling for an ambulance. Zeisler, who suffered a seizure, agreed and was treated. Bear would not let his owner out of his sight and climbed into the ambulance with her. She has since seen her neurologist, who increased her medication and is keeping a close watch on her for partial complex seizures. Zeisler added her seizures started about 18 years ago but originate as a result of severe head trauma from a riding accident which occurred in 1990.
Zeisler said she probably laid in her front yard Saturday for more than 30 minutes before Kessler and Pena arrived.
“I only remember walking outside and hitting the bottom [step],” Zeisler said. “And Bear just went into action.” Bear attempted to alert a neighbor, who was not home.
“[Bear] went door-to-door looking for help until we found him,” Kessler said. “Service dogs just don’t wander away from their owners unless there is something seriously wrong. He is one incredible dog.”
Pena said he and Kessler were pretty worried when they did not find Bear’s owner immediately.
“We weren’t giving up,” he said. “We knew there was someone out there who needed help. Bear wasn’t giving up either.”
Zeisler said Bear was adopted at the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter about a year ago. She soon noticed he alerted certain signals when she was having a seizure. She took Bear to a Fort Worth organization, where he was certified as a medical service dog and the trainers said the ability to alert and clue for medical conditions comes natural for some canines.
This is not the first time Bear has rescued Zeisler during a seizure. She said in November, Bear ran from the house in the middle of the night and scratched on the door of a neighbor who assisted her in getting medical attention when she was suffering a seizure.
Now Bear won’t let Zeisler out of the house until she takes her medication.
“He blocks the door until he sees that I take it,” Zeisler said. “He’s my savior.”
Zeisler was excited Wednesday to reunite with the animal control officers who helped her and Bear.
“I was so honored,” Zeisler said. “And I’m so proud of Bear.”
Zeisler repeatedly thanked the pair and praised Bear, who is now an honorary junior Sheriff’s deputy.
“I am very pleased with the performance of both of these officers for going above and beyond their call of duty,” said Sheriff Fowler. “This is the type of job performance we have come to expect and often see from all of our deputies and animal control officers.”