Cape Girardeau service dog nominated for national award

Cape Girardeau service dog nominated for national award

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A Cape Girardeau dog is nominated for a national award for her unique and potentially live saving abilities.

Izzy is a 3-year-old Basset Hound mix and one of a kind.

Her owner, Lexi New, got her as a puppy.

"I believe God just gave me something to help me out," New said.

New is a sophomore at Southeast Missouri State University studying biochemical medicine.

She's a typical college student, lives in the dorms, and has a job on campus.

Only she's living with a serious condition, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS.

She developed symptoms for POTS after having the flu as a teenager. But it wasn't until years after doctors at the Mayo Clinic made the correct diagnosis.

"No one could figure it out and I just kept going to doctors and that was basically my whole life," New said.

Symptoms of POTS include intense headaches, and body aches as well as sharp drops in heart rate and blood flow.

Typically brought on by simply standing for too long, patients like New diagnosed with POTS are more at risk for sudden fainting.

"If I don't get enough blood to my brain then I can pass out," New said.

That's where Izzy comes in.

"She's know right whenever I'm about to pass out and she alerts me."

New learned early on her pooch had a special gift.

"She'll look up at me and nudge my knee. If I keep going she'll just lay down and not move and I know I'll have to stop then."'

It's not clear how Izzy knows when New is at risk.

"It's either some type of chemical in my body or she can pick up on the change of heart rate," New said.

She also has Izzy trained to bring her cell phone if she is close to passing out so New can call for help.

Izzy allows New to be more independent and gives her piece of mind for her safety.

Because of that Izzy is nominated for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award. She's one of 30 contestants in the service dog category.

Voting for the winner is open to the public.

The winner of each category and their owner is flown out to Los Angeles and featured in a televised video.

New is also competing for Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs and if she win's they will receive a $2,500 donation.

If you'd like to vote for Izzy and Lexi New, click here.

"She is my hero," New said. "Thankfully, I have her."

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