Detective Harley, F.A.D.D.
Food Allergy Detection Dog
International Spokesdog for the food allergy community.
Changing the narrative on food allergies by educating,
empowering, and encouraging empathy.
Harley is a Golden Retriever allergen alert service dog trained to detect peanuts. The decision to get Harley was solidified after a bullying incident that took our vigilant-but-not-alarmist outlook over my daughter's peanut allergy to a new level that put the life-threatening reality of anaphylaxis at the forefront of everything. Trained by Kathy Watters of Nosey Dog Detection Partners, Harley has an important job in our every day life by providing another layer of protection, making life outside of the house safer.
When the pandemic hit, like everyone else, we were stuck in the house, but Harley still needed to work (to keep her skills up) and wanted to work (because she enjoys it - it's a game to her). We started posting videos of her working on Instagram to raise awareness about the dangers of food allergies and cross-contact. We saw so many positive responses, but also negative ones. It was the negative responses that made us realize the enormous lack of understanding of food allergies and that they need to be taken seriously. They are a life-threatening medical condition. This is why I created Detective Harley, F.A.D.D. (Food Allergy Detection Dog).
As the International Spokesdog for the Food Allergy Community, we are working hard to change the narrative on food allergies in kids 3-8 years old by educating all kids, empowering the food allergy kids, and encouraging empathy in the community around food allergy kids. The more people learn about and understand food allergies from a young age, the more accepting they will be as they grow up. So while the world will never be free of food allergens, education and understanding is the key to making the world a safer place for people with food allergies.