Healthcare & Assistance Dog - Kin

Kin, from Islington, London was nominated by Sue Evans, Senior Advanced Trainer at Alpha Dog Training.

Kin is Robert’s medical alert dog and has been amazing in fulfilling her assistance role over the past few years. Sue told us: “Kin has taken on a huge role in her owner Robert’s life being loyally by his side night and day, alerting him to any unseen dangers he faces. Ranging from dangers at home, simply walking down the street and more challenging situations.”

Robert is affected by potentially life-threatening seizures, in which he gets no warning as to when they’re going to happen. As a result, he has suffered some serious injuries. When asked about what he has to say about Kin, he told us: “Guardian angels come in all shapes and sizes. Mine comes in the form of Kin, a six-year-old Japanese Akita Inu.”

Robert strongly believes that Kin is an “outstanding Akita Ambassador” and when describing the work Kin does, Robert said: “A beautiful example of Theory of Mind, where one species detects a danger to a second species and is effectively able to communicate that danger to them.

“Kin is able to forewarn me of impending seizures, allowing me ample time to put myself into a place of safety. It’s virtually impossible to put into words just how much this very hard-working Akita has revolutionised my world. Her love, devotion and dedication are truly outstanding.”

Robert has gone into hospital every day for the past month for treatment administered via a PICC line (a line going from the arm to a vein next to the heart). The drugs themselves were debilitating for Robert and caused extreme nausea and fatigue. He told us: “For a good proportion of the time, the side effects far outweighed the condition they were trying to treat; but, Kin was with me every step of the way, accompanying me to each appointment.”

Robert also said: “One of the managers at the hospital made a special effort to come to the unit where I was receiving treatment because seeing Kin made her spirits soar. Kin has a real zest for life, and I have no doubt that if it hadn’t been her, I would not have been able to endure this course of treatment.”

If you think Kin’s hard work means she deserves to win the Healthcare & Assistance Dogs category, putting her in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2021, then make sure you cast your vote here.

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