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Fancy’s Fortune

Fancy's fortune happened when she was adopted after being dumped in a drop box at the Elkhart County Humane Society. Darlene Guthrie's good fortune occurred...

Horst Hoefinger  |  May 18th 2009


Fancy’s fortune happened when she was adopted after being dumped in a drop box at the Elkhart County Humane Society. Darlene Guthrie’s good fortune occurred when she adopted Fancy.

Fancy, a 3-year-old Kai Ken-shepherd mix, was adopted by Darlene Guthrie in 2005, when Fancy was just 5 weeks old and weighed less than 3 pounds.

Guthrie, Elkhart Police Department’s animal rescue officer at the time, saw Fancy while dropping off a couple of other neglected dogs. It was love at first sight.

It wasn’t long until Guthrie noticed Fancy had a special talent – the ability to sense seizures in other dogs before they happen.

When Guthrie’s old Labrador dog began having seizures, Fancy would come to Guthrie and her husband.

Guthrie researched procedures to have a dog become a certified work dog and has been working with Fancy for the past several years. Fancy is registered with the United States Service Dog Registry and is considered a service dog.

But Fancy really did have a special talent, apart from being intelligent, and it wasn’t just sensing seizures in other dogs. Guthrie found that out when she developed epilepsy and began having seizures herself in September.

“I knew it was coming when she’d come up to me,” said Guthrie, who owns other dogs. “All you can do is lie down. She would actually stand over me, so my other dogs wouldn’t step over me. She literally stands over me and pushes the dogs off.

Guthrie had to retire early from the Police Department due to her condition, Fancy is now her full-time service dog. What a wonderful story.

* Pic courtesy South Bend Tribune Photo/MARCUS MARTER