There are guide dogs, and there are assistance dogs but, to help people who are blind as well as physically disabled, some dogs are trained to be both.
Tony Brown-Griffin from Kent uses her guide dog Hetty to help her get her children to and from school, to attend community events and do other day-to-day tasks. As well as being registered blind she has epilepsy and has, on average, one major seizure every week.
Hetty's second job is as a seizure alert dog and she is able to predict episodes exactly 42 minutes before they happen, letting her owner know by persistently resting her head on her knee. If she doesn't respond the dog will begin to paw her left leg. The aim is to give her enough time to find a safe place before the onset of a seizure.
Hetty's training was a partnership between Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and Support Dogs UK who provide dogs for various medical conditions. She learnt both roles simultaneously - having guide dog training early morning and late afternoon, and seizure alert training in the middle of the day.
While dog and owner were getting to know one another during training, Brown-Griffin was having up to 30 major seizures a day - a baptism of fire for young Hetty.
Seizure Alert dogs are trained to pick up minute physiological changes. It's not clear whether the dogs pick up scent or visual clues but it's likely to vary between owner. It takes two years to train them, including at least 12 months with their handler.
Brown-Griffin has two daughters aged eight and 15 who both have autism. She is grateful to Hetty for saving them from the trauma of seeing their mother have a seizure. "I can be cuddling one of my girls, when Hetty will let me know that I am going to have a seizure, and I can make sure my girls are safe," she says.
She feels very lucky to have Hetty and since getting her has even taken up her favourite pastime of horse riding again. She rides in half-hour bursts, checking in with Hetty to make sure her next 30 minutes will remain seizure free.
Having two important jobs feels like a lot of work for a dog but Tony says she knows that if Hetty didn't like it, she simply wouldn't do it.