Our family has been friends with the Seelyes for over 25 years. Imagine our joy to learn they moved to Granbury a month after Steve accepted his new job here and we started preparing to move. The first week after I moved to town, we went to the annual Granbury Christmas Parade with them.

It’s quite possible Dana Seelye spent more time watching Gizmo work than watching the actual parade! She has been with Gizmo many times over the last seven years he and I have been partnered, but usually in homes, restaurants, churches…places where he would be on alert, but not actively tasking with distractions. The parade made him put all his training to use. There were large crowds, loud noises and sirens, other dogs, lights of all types and degree, small children running loose, food, uneven walking surfaces of all descriptions, and after a full day, I was already triggered for a migraine or worse. Gizmo proved his training was bomb-proof that night in public access, obedience, alert, and task work. Dana was so impressed and asked if she might brag on him publicly. But of course!

These paragraphs of testimony and praise come under the category of slight intimidation and definite procrastination. Kathryn is quite a writer and the event in question happened just before Christmas 2018.

Our families have spent a lot of time together through the years. Consequently, I am well aware of the reasons why Gizmo is a necessity in her life.

On the evening I am referencing, we had decided to get out and have some fun taking part in the Downtown Granbury, Texas Christmas Market and Parade.

As an educator, I have seen many working dogs in the areas of drug dogs, etc., but none like how Gizmo protected my dear friend from severe pain due to simple flashing lights causing debilitating migraine headaches.

Kathryn was prepared with a thick coat to put over her head, but Gizmo was at the alert more than any of us. The minute this otherwise shy, beautiful dog detected flashing lights (as opposed to non-flashing Christmas lights), he stood up very quickly, leaned his almost 100 lb body on hers causing her to put her coat on over her head, and stood guard over her until all of the flashing lights had gone by. It made me emotional to think that this sweet dog Gizmo was protecting my friend, literally before I could say “look out!”.

My husband, Craig, reminds me to say that the lights could have been bullets– Gizmo would have stood his ground. True.

Task complete. The honor of participating begins. Well done Gizmo!

Dana Seelye