My girls. I look at this image, and at first it is sad to me. I see and focus on the bringsel on her hip, the alerting tool that a dog will grab when her blood sugar is out of range. I see a CGM on a pouch on her hip. And I see a backpack, with another CGM receiver connected to a cell phone that relays her BS levels to me, with lifesaving tools like a bottle of Gatorade, glucose tabs, and a glucagon needle, her blood sugar meter, and a myriad list of other things for her diabetes. I can’t see it here in this image, but I know that on her left side is a pump that has a tube that is inserted into her abdomen, that provides her with life sustaining insulin. 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.
We are walking in the JDRF San Diego Chapter Walk to Cure Diabetes. If you would like to donate to us, you can do so here. We are walking with our Canine Hope family, and we all had some new hardware made for the dogs, these awesome CH collars. I took the dogs outside to get some pictures of the collars. The kids were in the house playing with Angus.
Stella 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.
In case you didn’t know, we have 2 amazing, diabetes sniffing, low blood sugar warning, high blood sugar alerting super dogs. A couple of days ago, I met someone while I was out and about with Raven. She was behind me in line, and asked about what service she provided. As i explained her job to her, she looked at me and said “is that all she does?”. I was taken aback for a second, and then I realized that once again, I was dealing with someone that perceives diabetes as a “not so serious, user fixable” disease. And it was one of those days that I just didn’t need the aggravation. I was buying a replacement part to fix our only toilet, and was kinda in a hurry 🙂 So here is my open letter to the “woman standing behind me at Home Depot”
We spend a great deal of time with dogs. Our dogs use/need things like beds, crates, harnesses, toys, training gear, leashes, collars, food, etc. We require things that are sturdy and long lasting, that work well, and that are easy to use. I will randomly post a piece/review on some of our favorite things, gear we love, products we use, etc. First up is our new Kuranda Reversible Pads.
For those of you that follow along, we use Kuranda cots for our dogs to “place” on. It is their go to spot in the house. We have 3 of the cots, 2 in our family room, and 1 in our bedroom. We love them for lots of reasons, easy to clean, easy to move, indestructible, orthopedic, and they can be used outside. About a year ago, we were in a contest, and won a fleece cover for one of our cots. That cot, especially in the winter and at night, is the “coveted” cot :), and normally Raven’s on it. Here is a picture of our cots, and you can see the one on the right has the pad: