This Service Dog Is A Very Good Boy, But Humans Ignored Him When He Asked For Help

A viral Tumblr post is a good reminder of how we can help people who rely on service dogs.

This is Raider, and a viral post about him being a very good boy has become a powerful reminder of the importance of service dogs.

Tessa Connaughton

Raider and his mom, 20-year-old Tessa Connaughton, live in the Bay Area.

Tessa Connaughton

Connaughton told BuzzFeed News she got Raider two and a half years ago to help with her autism. When she feels overwhelmed, Raider is there to apply pressure therapy.

But a few months ago, Connaughton was also diagnosed with epilepsy, which Raider is learning to help her with too. Because it's new, one of the things Raider knows to do is go find help if Connaughton has a seizure, and he's very eager to help.

Recently, Connaughton tripped and fell while out shopping and "Raider took off thinking that I’m having a seizure," she said.

As per his training, Raider went looking for help, but the woman he found just swatted him away.

Connaughton wrote about it in a Tumblr post as a PSA for others that a lone service dog trying to get your attention could mean the owner is in trouble.

"At the time I was so embarrassed that I’d fallen so bad in the first place that I kind of just took him and moved on," she said.

"Afterwards I kind of thought about it, and what if I had had actually been having a seizure?"

That's what led her to write the post, which now has more than 69,000 notes on Tumblr.

"Don’t get scared, don’t get annoyed, follow the dog! If it had been an emergency situation, I could have vomited and choked, I could have hit my head, I could have had so many things happen to me," she wrote.

Service dogs for people with epilepsy can be trained to do a variety of different things if someone is having a seizure. Some are trained to bark or alert family members that a seizure is happening, they may lie down next to the person to help prevent injury, or they can be trained to activate a pre-programmed device that issues an alarm.

If you're not sure what to do if you see someone having a seizure, here are 17 Things Everyone Should Know About Epilepsy.

Connaughton's story was reshared on Twitter, where it went viral all over again.

"It’s great. It’s a little overwhelming, but I'm really glad that the message is out there," said Connaughton, adding that she's thankful people are spreading the message.

Often the only thing we're told about service dogs is to leave them alone and let them work, but seeing one alone is the rare time you should act, she said.

Tessa Connaughton

"I see constant posts everywhere reminding people don’t touch the service dog, don’t look at them, don’t interact. However, if the service dog is alone that’s an issue because they’re trying to get your attention," she said.

"It was a good thing I talked about it because apparently a lot of people would have just left him alone."