8554792200_c40fac8044_b(1)If and when you decide a Service Dog is right for you or your family, you may already have preconceived notions of what life with that dog will look like after you get it. Perhaps your visions include watching a guide dog for the blind work, or you know someone that has a seasoned team, a handler and service dog that has been together for several years. Maybe your expectations have been set by watching my daughter and I with our dogs here on this page. And perhaps your expectations were set by an over zealous car salesman telling you exactly what you want to hear in an effort to sell you a dog.

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20140628-IMG_2755We just spent the weekend competing at the Long Beach Queen Mary dog show. Stella and Raven are going for their AKC Rally Advanced title. They got their Rally Novice title a month ago, and this was their first event going for Advanced. The main difference is Advanced is all off lead.

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10496961_851824471512453_4865614828018179791_oRaven is our rock star night alerting dog. On most nights she wakes me up at least once to alert to an out of range blood sugar, and generally it will be a high. But last night was a little different. More »

 

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 »

20140322-IMG_6709Raven 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 »

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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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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. 🙂 More »

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