20140525-IMG_9843The picture above was taken on day 2 of our rally competition. All 5 dogs are Canine Hope dogs, but not all the people in the picture are dog trainers. 1 of them is an 11 year old (my daughter), 2 of them are teenagers (15 and 13), 1 of them is a self trainer (she worked with the org to raise a puppy for her son), and 1 of them is an official trainer for the org, raising a fully trained DAD for a family. More »

20140525-IMG_9843 20140525-IMG_9822 20140526-IMG_0173 20140526-IMG_0145This past Memorial Day weekend we attended our first AKC rally competition. We were there with several other families, trainers, and dogs in the Canine Hope for Diabetics program (more on why I think this is important later). As you can tell from the pictures above, these dogs, trainers, and families (including my 11 year old and 2 teenagers) did a fantastic job. I got so much joy (and yes, a bunch of nervousness) out of watching my daughter compete with Raven this weekend. My heart was bursting with pride the whole time. More »

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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.
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20140216-IMG_9612I was asked a GREAT question recently: “I wonder if you have tips on keeping up training with a dad. My daughter got hers in December and I want her to keep up her skills.” I realized that I talk a lot about how much work a service dog is, and how much on-going training is required, but I never really showed you what a daily or weekly training regimen looks like. This post will show you a lot of different things we do with our dogs to aid in our working, training, and handling of them on a daily basis. While there are occasions that these dogs get free time, we keep them pretty busy (and they keep us pretty busy) all day (and night) long.

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1961986_808783805816520_1941380670_oWe 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.

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1781540_779684362059798_694877495_oStella 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.

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20131208-IMG_2521If you decide that a diabetic alert dog is the right thing for you or your family, you need to make that decision knowing that you already have good diabetes management, (I didn’t say control) you already are making diabetes a priority, and you already understand the basics of this disease. That is the only way this will ever work, and it is the only way these dogs will ever have a chance to be successful. More »

20140216-IMG_9480If you follow us on our Facebook page, you know that most every Sunday afternoon we pack up the pups and head to a rally class with other members of Canine Hope for Diabetics for their weekly hosted training session. So what exactly is rally? And what purpose does it serve?

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