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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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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10443068_862402887121278_4487695098340047203_oOver on our Facebook page, good friend Andra asked: ” If raven is the Worker during the night, does she sleep more during the day?“. We actually have a routine for this. More »

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 »

It’s been a busy week around here. It seems like forever since I’ve done a photo post, so here we go! These are all from the last week. Even snuck in a pic or 2 of Angus!

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