By Ian Schwartz

NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) — A woman who wanted a shelter dog as a companion for herself and her son instead got much more than that.

The pit bull the Nevada County woman adopted can detect seizures, something important for her.

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Danielle Zuckerman, a former Navy nuclear scientist never knew adopting Thor could change her life.

“I feel so much more comfortable, going out in public and going to do things, because when you’re an epileptic, you don’t have control over your own body,” she said.

Zuckerman has seizures due to a spinal cord injury.

“I’ve actually fallen in the shower, and my son had to call 911 because I hit my head,” she said.

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Days after she adopted Thor, the otherwise quiet dog would jump in her lap and start barking to get her attention.

“I didn’t know what was going on, I thought something was maybe wrong with him, and about 10 to 15 minutes later I had a seizure,” she said.

And it wasn’t a fluke. It happened again and again, eight times in two months. Each time Zuckerman was on the brink of a seizure, Thor warned her.

Cheryl Wicks runs Sammy’s Friends in Grass Valley where Zuckerman adopted Thor.

“This woman adopts a dog to have a pet and then she gets all this, it can like, change her life,” she said.

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Zuckerman’s doctor says before she has a seizure, she releases hormones that no human can sense, but a dog can. With that knowledge, the early warnings allow her to take a new medication that cuts the length of her seizure from five minutes to 90 seconds.