Suzanne Eisworth sent me this story about her friend Jill Meza and her service dog Cinnamon.
“Fifteen years ago Jill Meza of Shell Beach saved a puppy from a feral dog attack. Cinnamon became hers at a time in her life when she was told by her doctors she must no longer work due to complicated health issues.
“Cinnamon became Jill’s service dog and, truly, her guardian angel. She was one of the first dogs in the U.S. trained to alert to dangerous diabetic conditions.
“Jill, a diabetic, also suffers from A-fibrillation of the heart, among other ailments. Cinnamon would alert her when her blood sugars dropped too rapidly and also forewarn her up to 20 minutes before suffering an A-Fib attack so she could take the proper medicine to avoid or lessen its severity.
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“As Jill puts it, ‘I saved her life that one day and she spent the rest of hers saving mine.’
“Cinnamon was also a licensed therapy animal; for many years she and Jill worked with the elderly in nursing homes and hospital therapy rooms.
“Jill also developed an educational outreach program, teaching children in San Luis Obispo County about service and therapy animals. The outreach expanded to the County Animal Services’ Camp Paws program.
“A picture of Cinnamon in wings and a halo and the logo: ‘All Service Animals are Guardian Angels’ was used in the programs.
“Sadly, Cinnamon passed away last month. While Jill is still grieving, medically she is in desperate need of another service dog and she began applying at various organizations.
“Enter Epie — the dog Jill believes Cinnamon has ‘chosen’ for her.
“One day, Jill went to check her application status at Dogs 4 Diabetics online but when she typed in the name, oddly, the website for an organization called Guardian Angel Diabetic Alert Dogs opened.
Because she had always called Cinnamon her ‘guardian angel,’ the irony was not lost on her. Subsequent phone calls with the agency resulted in Jill applying for Epie, a newly trained dog whose planned placement with a family in Ohio did not work out.
“When Jill sent in her package, which included the picture of Cinnamon with the logo attached, the agency phoned her in disbelief. The founder had seen that picture with the logo on the web years ago and used it to come up with the agency name Guardian Angel Diabetic Alert Dogs! Even stranger, the agency wondered how Jill had found them in the first place as its website has been down for more than two months.
“No one will convince her that all these events are a coincidence!
“Epie has been approved for placement with Jill and she considers it one of the many miracles she has experienced in her life.
“All that is needed is the $5,000 training expense fee, and she could have Epie by October.
“If you would like to help unite Jill with Epie, donations can be made at Sesloc Credit Union to an account called: I.J. Meza/Epie's Fund or online at www.epiefund.webs.com.”
If you have a story or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend please e-mail pettales@thetribune news.com or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.