Raven is an amazing night alerter. What exactly does that mean? That means that after a full day of excitement in a house with 2 children, 3 dogs, type 1 diabetes, a running partner, and all that goes along with that, she is still capable of picking up diabetic scent after all the lights are turned off, the house has gotten quiet, and we have all gone to bed. More »
Stella 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 »
We 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.
Night time alerting. Most often it is the number 1 reason someone cites for wanting a DAD. And it is often followed up with “and then we can sleep through the night” as if the dog will catch the low, go get a juice box, treat the low, and then go back to bed. Or catch the high, bolus to correct, and do all of that while you stay snuggled up in bed.
Hi everybody! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. It’s been awhile since we updated, it has been insanely busy here, and it’s not letting up yet. We had a wonderful Christmas, we have an extra visitor here for a week, (more on that later) and we have some family flying in from places much colder than here for a couple of days.
As a service dog handler, something I hear a lot is “that must be a rough life for a dog”, or “it seems like a cruel fate”, or even things like “how do you manage to not pet them, and only let your daughter interact with them?”
Raven 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 »
On our Facebook page last week, I asked if any of our members had a topic about DAD’s or diabetes, and several great topics came up that I will be covering here soon. The first one I wanted to cover was from Jenn Demchuk. She writes:
“I would like to hear more about the bonds developed between the DAD’s and family members. How have they developed, which DAD is closest with Stella? Does Stella have a preference for one of them? What about with the other members of your family? Do you have a preference? Who’s personality meshes best with who? And I know they have different strengths and weaknesses as DAD’s (why you have two) but which one is the stronger or even more consistent?”