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Hayley & Clover

Meet Hayley and her wonderful labradoodle, Clover. When Hayley was 14 she developed Tourette’s syndrome while she was already struggling with bereavement and mixed anxiety depression disorder. 

“tics cause me to injure myself and sometimes others, I hit myself, throw things, drop things, throw myself on the floor and jolt my limbs. My tics also cause me to shout many noises and words including swear words which causes people to stare, bully me and try to kick me out of places. I also get things called tic attacks that are sudden uncontrollable tics that take over my whole body, I fall onto the floor, I have tics throughout my body and struggle to breath, I often get bruises and sprains after tic attacks as well as exhaustion and lots of difficult emotions.” Said Hayley.

 “My anxiety made my tics worse, and my tics made my anxiety worse. Going out was stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting almost always leading to panic attacks, sensory overload or tic attacks that put me at risk of accidently hurting myself. Most treatments didn’t work, and I love being with dogs. I read an article on Tourette’s action website about an assistance dog for tics and shared many of the issues their dog helped with.”

Hayley has been teaching her 12-month-old pup to do several helpful tasks including deep and light pressure therapy and interrupting tics and anxiety behaviours by nudging her leg and hand. Having Clover also gives Hayley focus and routines which helps to lift Hayley’s mood. 

Looking to the future, Hayley shared “I hope for him to be able to alert me to tic attacks before they happen so I can be safer. I also want to him to be able to stop me walking into objects as my tics make me dizzy or close my eyes. I also can’t wait to teach him tricks and take him camping and hopefully to university.”

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