735880_693474277347474_710224744_oOur daughter will be heading off to camp on Monday. It is a camp for kids with type 1 diabetes, and this is her 3rd year attending. It is an amazing experience for her to go and play and be a kid for a week. I get asked all the time if her dogs will be attending camp with her.

The answer is no. She is going to a place that we think of as the 2nd safest place on earth for her, surrounded by Endo’s, nurses, type 1 camp counselors, and other type 1 kids, in a program designed to deal with diabetics, and while she is there, she will receive even more education about her disease. It is an amazingly wonderful opportunity for her to not have to worry about her dog, and be free to go do whatever the day calls for.

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1276709_693474397347462_1822318688_oShe goes to this camp twice a year, once in the summer, and then she and I both go with the dogs in October, for a DAD Conference hosted by Canine Hope for Diabetics.  So Major does get to go, he’s been there several times over the past couple of years. But when stella is on her own, it isn’t exactly easy to have a dog with you while you are kayaking, or on the archery range, or rock climbing. And there are no fences, so if you can’t take him with you, he stays crated in the room. We use this opportunity to give everyone a vacation. Stella has hers at camp, and Major and Raven have theirs at home. We spend lots of time with the dogs, working on training and obedience, playing fetch with a low sample scent stick, and hiking and running.

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and Raven says “don’t forget napping”

Also, sending a highly sensitive diabetic alert dog to camp for a week with a couple of hundred diabetic kids just doesn’t seem like a good situation for Major. We find that at diabetes camp, there is really no need for the DAD, they have lots of other safety measures and controls in place.

10489654_872088596152707_254418506624626493_n 10268525_870183936343173_6098667844353937_n 10535582_870366629658237_4331413462481797172_oWe have spent this week making sure everyone had lots of bonding time and play time, and that will continue through this weekend, and then my wife will take Stella and the pups to her drop off. We will all be there for the pick up on Saturday, and the reunion is always wonderful.

My wife and I use this week to kind of recharge, tune out a little bit, and concentrate on our son, setting up special activities for him and really gearing this week around him. We won’t be sending her CGM with her, or the cloud. We will let the camp handle all the diabetic decisions for the week, and my guess is that by Friday, we might actually be able to sleep for 1 whole night 😉

Major and Raven will be on vacation, but I promise to check in and let you know how everyone is doing 😉

Team Blackdogsrule

 

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1 Comment

  1. I respect your family’s decision. The special needs camp I volunteer at welcomes service dogs but it is a lot of responsibility for the kids (especially because we as counselors are not allowed to assist with the dog in any way, even with holding the leash). The kids do awesome at it, though, and utilize folding pop up crates for activities like rock climbing and high ropes or swimming. It just folds up into a backpack with the rest of their camp gear and service dog gear. It’s a lot to carry, a lot of responsibility, and the dogs aren’t allowed any off-leash dog time for an entire week. On-duty 24/7. While it’s been successful for the years that the camp has allowed it, the child and the dog do need to be able to handle it together. So far there haven’t been any issues for the dog or child.

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