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woman with his service dog


Joretta and Atco

February 01, 2024

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Joretta entered training with boundless enthusiasm, unending hope, and is one of the kindest spirits we’ve ever encountered. From the moment she and Atco met, they were inseparable.

Joretta has had epilepsy since she was fourteen and utilizes Atco as her seizure alert dog. She has violent, partial complex seizures at least once or twice a week and needs assistance from a family member at those times. When Joretta had a seizure during her first days of team training, it was Atco’s body laying over her that kept her lying down and safe. Now, when Joretta has a seizure, Atco pushes the ‘life alert’ button which notifies her partner, who works seven miles away. Atco also provides balance and stability when Joretta is feeling weak.

Joretta is an active person who enjoys volunteering at the hospital at least three days a week, cheering people up and being in the company of friends. Her life in Massachusetts will be immeasurably safer as she heads home to her volunteer work, and there will be many new opportunities ahead.

We are grateful to Joretta and Atco for reminding us of the truly unbelievable things that are possible through these wonderful partnerships.