20140525-IMG_9843The picture above was taken on day 2 of our rally competition. All 5 dogs are Canine Hope dogs, but not all the people in the picture are dog trainers. 1 of them is an 11 year old (my daughter), 2 of them are teenagers (15 and 13), 1 of them is a self trainer (she worked with the org to raise a puppy for her son), and 1 of them is an official trainer for the org, raising a fully trained DAD for a family. More »

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20140525-IMG_9843 20140525-IMG_9822 20140526-IMG_0173 20140526-IMG_0145This past Memorial Day weekend we attended our first AKC rally competition. We were there with several other families, trainers, and dogs in the Canine Hope for Diabetics program (more on why I think this is important later). As you can tell from the pictures above, these dogs, trainers, and families (including my 11 year old and 2 teenagers) did a fantastic job. I got so much joy (and yes, a bunch of nervousness) out of watching my daughter compete with Raven this weekend. My heart was bursting with pride the whole time. More »

1900525_779684465393121_654466269_oStella has spent a lot of time this year working with Raven in rally class. Memorial day weekend she will go to her first competition with Raven. A few of you have asked, “Why is Raven doing rally, and not Major?” The answer is simple, and it’s complicated. 🙂 More »

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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20140216-IMG_9612I was asked a GREAT question recently: “I wonder if you have tips on keeping up training with a dad. My daughter got hers in December and I want her to keep up her skills.” I realized that I talk a lot about how much work a service dog is, and how much on-going training is required, but I never really showed you what a daily or weekly training regimen looks like. This post will show you a lot of different things we do with our dogs to aid in our working, training, and handling of them on a daily basis. While there are occasions that these dogs get free time, we keep them pretty busy (and they keep us pretty busy) all day (and night) long.

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1781540_779684362059798_694877495_oStella and Raven have been working hard together at Rally over the past 6 months, and we continue to work our dogs daily. I have been working Raven off lead (no leash, all vocal commands) for several months, and at home in the safety of our backyard, with little or no distraction, Stella has been doing off lead work with her too.

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20140322-IMG_6757Raven is our wild child. She is our goof ball. She is our great at rally/agility/obedience work dog. She is the dog we allow brand new families to work the rally course with because she makes everyone look good. She is also our loose canon. More »

20131208-IMG_2521If you decide that a diabetic alert dog is the right thing for you or your family, you need to make that decision knowing that you already have good diabetes management, (I didn’t say control) you already are making diabetes a priority, and you already understand the basics of this disease. That is the only way this will ever work, and it is the only way these dogs will ever have a chance to be successful. More »

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