As this site goes forward, an added emphasis will be placed on the dogs in our life and my photography of the different activities we do with them. To kick that off, here is our first time competing at a lure coursing event with Carbon, our black Malinois, and several of our friends dogs.

What does living with diabetes mean? How do you explain it to someone that doesn’t get it? How do you convey the seriousness of it when your child LOOKS healthy, acts fine, and the rest of the world would have you believe it is easily cured/fixed?  More »


I have had dogs all my life. Most of the time there was more than one. Big dogs, little dogs, snuggle bugs, and crazy fools. My wife and I are both big on rescues, she works in the animal rescue world and I volunteer with a rescue group as a photographer taking pictures of dogs in a local high kill shelter to help get them adopted. We have loved them all. And then came Major…  More »

Small World

We took the family to Disneyland to celebrate my son’s 8th birthday. We also took our service dog Raven with us. We had a fantastic day, and Raven was amazing. Stella did the handling all day and Raven earned her keep with several low alerts. (The excitement of the amusement park tends to burn off blood sugar)

Based on a compliment we received from another SD handler and just how crowded it was yesterday, I realized I have never discussed how important it is or what is meant by protecting your service dog while out in public.

For public access work, distractions, obedience, and crowd control work, I can’t imagine there is any place more challenging than Disneyland on a gorgeous Southern California Saturday. The park was jammed full of guests making it hard enough to traverse the park with kids, let alone a teenager handling a dog.

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12118965_1134890679872496_6966565547759420262_nIf I hear someone say “we are getting a DAD (diabetic alert dog) so we can sleep at night” one more time, I do believe my crime will start with “justifiable”. I am asked often if we sleep better at night because we have Raven, an amazing night alerting dog. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen families in the process of getting a dog believe that they will sleep through the night. In some instances, they were told that is the case by the organization they are getting their dog from.

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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.


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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.

Team Blackdogsrule

Sorry for the dramatic headline, but I see posts like that every single day. Most often it is relating to an alert from a dog. See, this happened to me too, just this past weekend. 20150815-DSCF1638

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