20141214-IMG_1259-2From a post I did on Facebook, that I felt deserved some space on the blog: We talk a lot about the amount of training we do daily, and the structure that is required to make sure these dogs continue to work and do their jobs. I get asked a lot if these dogs ever get to be “treated like pets like most peoples dogs?” , if they get to have “fun”, if they get time off, If service dog life is a bad life or a rough life for the dogs.

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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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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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I hear this a lot: “My child was just diagnosed last week, I want to get a DAD to help him out”. While I completely and totally understand the fear of facing this disease, the willingness to do anything to help your child, and the need for tools, medicines, and technology to make things easier, safer, and better, a DAD is not for everyone, and especially not for the newly diagnosed. 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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20140413-IMG_7263-2Here is hoping that everyone had an amazing Easter. We have had a super busy weekend here, with lots of hiking, some long runs, a rally/Easter egg hunt with our Canine Hope family, and a day at Grandma’s house today. Major had a very busy past couple of days, so we gave him today off, and we took Raven with us on our trip to Nana’s house. More »

6909710362_01fc8100a4_bTraining a service dog is hard work, a very long process, and often times not very fun. There are so many variables from start to finish, that this is by no means an automated, assembly line kind of process. If and when a dog makes it to Service Dog (referred to as SD from here on out) status, it is almost magical! With that thought in mind, here are a few things you may not hear from your DAD organization, but if they are responsible and truly care, they should tell you. Keep in mind while a lot of this info is specific to diabetic alert dogs, it can be applied to other types of SD’s too. More »

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