GUEST POST: Berger Branches Out

Berger the dog “shares” his experience with epilepsy.

March 24, 2014

Hi everyone!

My name is Berger! I’m originally from a super warm, sunny land called Florida, and when I was just a little bulldog I came to live with my human, Ted, in Calgary. It’s cold here sometimes, especially compared to Florida, but I love my human lots and people here are real nice!

I’m an all-white bulldog, which I guess means I can’t hear too well…or at all, whichever one. I don’t notice too much though, since I could never really hear in the first place. I just sometimes go to sleep and I guess my human can’t wake me up to eat or go play, and I love to eat and play, so that is no fun.

When I was four, these weird things started to happen to me. I started to shake lots and couldn’t control my paws or my head too well. My human took me to that scary place that all my dog friends and I don’t like. They have treats there which is cool, but the scary man pokes me with sharp metal sticks. After some not so fun tests, the man told my human that I had something called epilepsy, which I guess means my brain has excess or abnormal nerve cell activity (I know this because I read lips real good. I may be deaf, but I’m not dumb!).

Since being diagnosed, I don’t have many episodes anymore which I like lots! This means I get lots of time to play, eat bananas (I love bananas!), and take naps with my human. He doesn’t hear too good either, so he doesn’t mind my snoring.

Every year my human takes me to the Branch Out Bike Tour and it’s so fun! I always meet lots of new friends and I can tell people like to see my handsome face since they always stop to say hi. Since Branch Out helps people with brains like mine, I figure I’m pretty much like Branch Out’s unofficial mascot.

This year, I’m going to be working super hard to help raise attention for Branch Out! The bike tour is only a few months away, so we better get started! Not many dogs are lucky enough to share their thoughts with humans (they’d rather play fetch)…but most people would agree that I’m not like other dogs.

It might be a bit difficult with my paws, but with my human friends’ help I’ll be barking out on Branch Out’s Twitter every week. I’ll be posting updates, fun facts and pictures of me (cause who doesn’t want to see this handsome face?) every week. Be sure to track the hashtag #BergerBranchesOut to follow along with my adventures!

I’m looking forward to meeting so many of you great humans at the bike tour! In the meantime, I hope you’ll follow @BranchOutNF on Twitter. I can’t wait to start helping out humans who have brains like mine!

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