Ailing Service Dog and Owner Returning to Reno

Adrienne Barlow and Haley

Adrienne Barlow and Haley

RENO, NV - Adrienne Barlow and her service dog Haley are on their way home.

The disabled Reno woman and her 7-year-old Papillon have just spent a stress-filled week in Davis, California where Haley underwent diagnosis and treatment for what was determined to be an inflammatory brain disease.

It has been a rough stretch for the inseparable two, a stretch that began three weeks ago when Haley's health began failing.

Adrienne soon found help was hard to find. No one seemed to be able to diagnose the dog's illness and Adrienne couldn't afford the tests that might narrow the search.

This was a crisis for dog and owner. Haley is not only Adrienne's constant companion, she's literally what keeps her owner safe.

Adrienne suffers from cataplexy, a neurological disorder which can cause sudden loss of muscular control. Adrienne can't sense when those dangerous episodes are about to happen, but Haley can and she's trained to warn Adrienne.

After two weeks, Haley seemed to be failing, A Reno vet advised Adrienne to get her to the Veterinary Hospital at the University of California at Davis immediately.

KOLO 8 News Now aired the first story concerning her plight and support began pouring in.

We drove Adrienne and Haley to Davis last Wednesday and the search for what was wrong began.

A week later, Haley was ready to come home, although she may need medication for the rest of her life.

There was one last unexpected hurdle. As Adrienne attempted to board an AMTRAK train in Davis for Reno Thursday morning, railroad employees declined to let her board.

Their reasons are still unexplained, but at that moment Adrienne suffered one of her muscular failures. Her leg buckled and she fell.

Denied permission to board the train, Adrienne was taken to a Davis hospital, but she was now stranded more than 150 miles from home.

A conference call between her disability advocate in Kansas City, a limo service in Davis and KOLO 8, resulted in a ride home to Reno.

There may be further bumps ahead. Haley needs to return to Davis for a check up in a few weeks and it's thought she may need medication for the rest of her life.

Her ability to resume her duties as Adrienne's service dog is uncertain, though Adrienne tells us when she lost control of her legs at the train station Thursday morning, Haley barked--her signal to Adrienne that her master's ailment was about to strike.

None of this would have been possible without the generousity of dozens of KOLO 8 viewers who stepped in to donate support to get Haley to Davis.

"Together all of us saved Haley," Adrienne says. "I have a lot of people to thank."

Donations to the "Funds for Haley" account can be made at any Wells Fargo branch nationwide.


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