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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All the attendees to the 2014 Canine Hope DAD Conference

All the attendees to the 2014 Canine Hope DAD Conference

Once again, my track record for bursting into tears while talking about how amazing these dogs are, and all that they do for our family, is at 100%. If you were there, it was disjointed at best, and cut short as I couldn’t get through it. I always feel bad as I struggle with these. But I will give myself 1 compliment. I am passionate about what these dogs are capable of doing, both for diabetes, and for the general well being of their families. This is what my speech was supposed to sound like:

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1661616_814261655268735_7488107394780660463_nWe spend a lot of time in the car. Always on the run somewhere, and in Los Angeles, prone to extended periods of being stuck in traffic. While we are in the front seat, the kids aren’t technically far away, but I can’t tell what my daughter’s blood sugar is doing easily or safely while I am driving and she is in the back seat listening to her iPod, playing with her brother, or sleeping. Raven, one of our diabetic alert dogs (a DAD for short), does alert in the car. But we noticed recently that it was noticeably less often, so we decided to go back to the drawing board and work on fine tuning it a bit. This post gives you some background on where we started, some things we tried (that did or didn’t work), and where we are now.

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904122_600075823353987_450448929_o Night time alerting. Most often it is the number 1 reason someone cites for wanting a DAD. And it is often followed up with “and then we can sleep through the night” as if the dog will catch the low, go get a juice box, treat the low, and then go back to bed. Or catch the high, bolus to correct, and do all of that while you stay snuggled up in bed.

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8360095572_f12a856d94_b(1)Yesterday was pasta night at our house. We have kids. Kids like pasta. Pasta is easy. Except for blood sugar control. But we’ve been doing this awhile now, and we have gotten pretty good with our combo bolus ratio on pasta night. 3 hours after dinner, Stella’s blood sugar was 136. Perfect on pasta night. About 5 hours after dinner, we went to bed and checked her again. She was 177, but the meter said she had some insulin on board, so off to bed we went, feeling comfortable with those numbers. Cue dramatic music…

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1008761_645493138812255_544248284_oWe have had Astro for 2 weeks today. We have been doing a lot of obedience and scent work with him in an effort to get him back on track. When I first picked him up, I was told that he was not alerting to highs, he was not alerting in the day time, and he didn’t have a set alerting behavior, like a paw to the leg, grab a bringsel, or nose tap. More »

820794_10200438489822468_188919927_oFor those of you that follow us on Facebook, you know my son is notorious for photobombing my pictures. It’s almost like a gift he has, a knack. At group events, he’s even branched out to photobomb other peoples images. More »

We are constantly playing scent games and training with scent. When we have a low blood sugar issue with Stella (a BG level under 70) we swab her mouth with cotton a freeze it to use at a later date. Here, we are working with Major to “find it”. We have just taken a sample and left it out in the house for him to find. Sometimes we keep it in a pocket, or Stella carries it, or we can use it in specific scenarios, like with Stella in her bed with the lights off. We even have a “fetch stick” that we can fill with scent and play fetch with. More »

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