So you decided to get a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD). You’ve seen all the amazing things they can do, you know they can help you manage your diabetes (or your child’s diabetes), and you think you understand what it takes to share a household with one.
Doing some training with Major using the scent stick. Stella is at school, so it is the perfect time to work low scent with the pups. I hooked the GoPro up to Major and sent him on his way. In the first attempt, I placed it on our bed, a place Major will not go unless invited up, so he needs to make a decision to be disobedient. Finding the low scent comes with rewards, and those rewards prove greater to Major.
If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to ask. Even after 4 years, we still do daily training exercises with the dogs to keep them focused and sharp.
I am asked often if I really think we need a CGM with the DAD, or the DAD with the CGM, or why would anyone need both, or if I think everyone should have both.
I can only speak for my family and our experience. And here’s the thing. The DAD and the CGM serve different purposes for us. And while I think the DAD’s are amazing (if you get one from a reputable organization and work your ASS off to maintain and build on all the training your DAD has received) they work better in certain scenarios or health scenarios, and for the newly diagnosed, can prove to be a downright disaster. More »
I love these posts, you know the ones: “We’ve only had Buster the Service Dog for 3 weeks, and already he has saved little Timmy’s life from low blood sugar 6 times! Little Timmy was 26 when Buster alerted!”. While I agree that these dogs have an amazing ability to pick up on sudden, out of the blue blood sugar issues, and it is always welcome to have another set of eye (or in this case, a nose) watching out for your child, there may be some other issue that needs to be addressed. Carb ratios, basal rates, growth hormones, puberty, illness, any number of things that might need to be looked at and considered to help your child.
This is how we spend our weekends. Busy and action packed. No whining about how cruel life is. No bitching about things we can’t do. Just doing things we want to do. And mostly in the dirt apparently. More »
A note to myself:
Please don’t ever allow me to use my daughters disease as a way to get things that I want. To use her for sympathy. To show her that it’s okay to play the victim card, whoa is me, or worse, blame others for her troubles. While it is completely understandable that for the rest of her life accommodations will need to be made, lifestyle changes will have to be maintained, and healthy living will always have to be adhered too, and while having episodes of high or low blood sugar, special care will need to be taken, it will never be okay for me as a parent to pretend that I am the one that has the disease, that I am the one that was handed the raw deal or that I am the one that requires special treatment.
From a post I did on Facebook, that I felt deserved some space on the blog: We talk a lot about the amount of training we do daily, and the structure that is required to make sure these dogs continue to work and do their jobs. I get asked a lot if these dogs ever get to be “treated like pets like most peoples dogs?” , if they get to have “fun”, if they get time off, If service dog life is a bad life or a rough life for the dogs.