Although Daniel Greene of Shelton, Wash., got his first pet snake four years ago, it is his newer red-tailed boa constrictor named Redrock who is his true soul mate.
“Redrock is a service animal for me,” Greene, 46, an epileptic for the past 22 years, tells PEOPLEPets.com. “He sees increases in my blood pressure, or detects changes in my body three minutes before I have a seizure. He alerted me about the three seizures I have had this month.”
Greene, both a church minister and a professional clown, found Redrock, 6, last year in a pet store. His previous owner had given him to friends who neglected him.
“He was nervous and wouldn’t let go of my arm in the store,” says Greene, who also owns pet pythons Gia and Bronze, who are not yet serviceable. “I saw a promise in Redrock as a service animal and had never used one successfully before.”
It only took a weekend before Redrock felt comfortable around Greene, and another month for him to learn how to become a service animal through constant training. Now Redrock gets a solid grip around Green’s neck and squeezes it to let him know that a seizure is coming. It has happened twice in public.
“Once I had a seizure in public, and another time I had an anxiety attack in a store,” Greene tells PEOPLEPets.com. “Both times Redrock squeezed my neck. Before the anxiety attack, I had chest pains. It turned out to be stress but the snake was right on.”
Redrock, who is about five feet long, has been trained to jump in a carrier with a zipper on the side once he anticipates the seizure, which usually takes a few minutes to set in.
“He knows what to do,” says Greene, who carries medicine to end the seizure as quickly as possible.
Greene says it makes sense that snakes can detect such problems in humans because they have been on their bellies since the beginning of time.
“Snakes can detect an earthquake, and a body seizure is basically an earthquake,” continues Greene. “Redrock sees it coming, He is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
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