Major

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 »

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20141012-IMG_7637-3With the exception of 1 parent, everyone in this image is a type 1 diabetic. Look at all of them. They are happy. Smiling. Holding cute, amazing dogs. They were all gathered together for the Canine Hope For Diabetics 2014 Diabetic Alert Dog Conference at a gorgeous location in the Southern California woods. Perfect weather, lots of friends, dogs, great conversation, activities for the kids and the dogs, training sessions for the dog handlers, discussion groups about diabetes, diabetes technology, animal care and training, it was an amazing weekend. And I captured it all with my camera. So what’s not to love?

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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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8543236221_2d30950ec9_bAs a father of a type 1, I love meeting adult type 1’s that bust the stereotypes that we hear about constantly. We are barraged with poor quality of life stories, shortened life spans, poor health, blindness, amputations, the list goes on. And as the father of a female type 1, we hear a lot about how pregnancy is hard, ill advised, and a difficult and constant struggle of an experience.

Through my association with Canine Hope for Diabetics and being involved in local JDRF events, I have had the great honor of meeting many adult type ones living healthy, productive lives. Some are married, some are extremely successful, some have children, but all of them are kicking type 1 ass. I have reached out to a few of them to shed some light on common myths in the diabetic world. Here is the first in what I hope will become a series. Lori Mayfield, our guest blogger today, is a woman I met through Canine Hope. I have had the pleasure of knowing her for a few years, and even got to photograph her and her amazing dog RJ on the day they were forever placed with each other. Lori has been married for several years with a beautiful family, and I asked her to talk about her experience with pregnancy and type 1. Again, as a parent of a type 1 daughter, Lori is someone I really look up to and admire, a role model, and as we travel further through life with T1, I know she will be a huge wealth of knowledge and experience for our family to tap into. A huge thank you to Lori for doing this for us!

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Major&Stella

Our first picture of Major and Stella

That I took that picture. The very day that we met Major for the very first time. Ever. And our lives were forever changed. We were lucky enough to come into contact with Crystal and Johanna almost a year before that day. They are Canine Hope for Diabetics. At the time that we found them, my wife and I were pretty insistent on using a rescue or shelter pup, and Crystal was the first person that didn’t laugh at us or tell us no way. Rescue is a pretty big deal in our house. So that was important to us. Crystal took on the challenge and went through several dogs before finally coming across Major. (His story is in that link). She initially rescued Major about 6 months prior to us meeting him. She didn’t want to introduce us to any pups until she knew that it might work out. More »

20140809-20140809-IMG_5355Once again we spent an amazing weekend at a rally competition with some of our Canine Hope friends, competing for our second title, RA (Rally Advanced) and once we got that on Friday, we moved up to Rally Excellent and got 2 of the 3 required legs towards that. My daughter and her dog Raven had a very successful weekend, racking up a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in her 3 events. More »

8554792200_c40fac8044_b(1)If and when you decide a Service Dog is right for you or your family, you may already have preconceived notions of what life with that dog will look like after you get it. Perhaps your visions include watching a guide dog for the blind work, or you know someone that has a seasoned team, a handler and service dog that has been together for several years. Maybe your expectations have been set by watching my daughter and I with our dogs here on this page. And perhaps your expectations were set by an over zealous car salesman telling you exactly what you want to hear in an effort to sell you a dog.

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20131110-IMG_0734With all the recent talk about my daughter and Raven competing in rally, we get asked a lot about why we are using Raven and not Major. I have explained this in a couple of different places, but I thought I’d do a post about it here.  More »

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