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 »

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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. ­čÖé 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 »

9178707077_27b02736cd_bThis may become part of a regular series in an effort to help you locate a great organization to get a diabetic alert dog from. First topic? How they raise their puppies. The first year of a dogs life is a very important time. Socialization, obedience training, maturity markers, vet care, there are so many milestones that need to be paid attention to, that how an organization raises their puppies should be an important part of your decision. More »

11003235465_f8f15bb56f_bRaven is our night alerter. She sleeps in our room, next to our bed, on a Kuranda cot, as seen above. We have learned from trial and error, that if Raven sleeps on a pillow type dog bed, a foam mattress type bed, or in bed with us, she sleeps too hard and doesn’t wake up at night to alert. When she sleeps on the Kuranda cot, that is not an issue. She is able to wake up and alert just fine. That has been working well for us right up until… More »

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It’s been awhile since i have talked about the amount of training that is involved with having a successful Diabetic Alert Dog. We are constantly┬á working on something, whether it is reinforcing behaviors we already know, like the basics of “sit, stay, down, come, etc”, or working on scent training using low samples when our daughter is either away from the house, or at a good BG level, or doing something new and fun like Agility or Rally

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