Raven loves playing fetch, and she loves tennis balls. So here we are working on off leash heel and focus, while I hold a tennis ball. The tennis ball maintains her focus. It also doubles as her reward for a job well done. We are working in a fairly confined space, keeping it easy to keep her aligned, all though it gets tight and Raven needs to use the steps to continue, also proving excellent training. Our terrier proves to be a small distraction, especially when we “fetch” as Raven has to wait before release, and the other dog could have gone after her reward.

The inspiration for this comes from watching how incredible Laurie Schwartz and her dogs are. As we get better at this, the tennis ball will be faded out, and just used as a reward at the end.

Team Blackdogsrule

friend like that“I talk to him when I’m lonesome like, and I’m sure he understands.

When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands;

Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat,

For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that!”

— W. Dayton Wedgefarth

And once again, the mighty DOC (Diabetic Online Community) took to email and phone en masse to help correct and right a wrong. Earlier in the week, the New York Post ran an opinion piece by Bill Cosby (see my post here) in which he blamed parents for poor diets that are giving their kids diabetes. The New York Post posted a follow up today. It’s not perfect, but it acknowledges that Type 1 is NOT caused by diet and lifestyle. You can read it here: More »

The NY Post posted an op/ed piece by Bill Cosby today titled “A Plague Called Apathy” which talks about a great many things that Bill Cosby thinks are plaguing the inner city youth.

I want to tell you about something that I believe is plaguing the sufferers of type 1 diabetes. MISINFORMATION. SPREAD. IN. THE. MEDIA.

More »

Raven is a VERY fast eater. That has presented a few problems for us. As we have more then 1 dog, because she finishes first, she would wander over to the other dogs and try to steal their food, so she has been fed in her crate since we’ve had her. It can also lead to serious health issues, like bloat. Now, we could have just continued to feed her in her crate, but I decided to try one of those bowls that has impressions in it, a slow feeder, forcing her to eat around them. Here is a video of that. If you are curious, the bowl we got is the Large Martha Stewart version from PetSmart.

I had no idea this would slow her down so much. I didn’t subject you to the whole thing, but I love it!

Team Blackdogsrule

8499608976_c994845dbc_bFresh off the heels of yesterday’s post about setting your dog up for success, comes this story from last night. Not only is it important to pattern your day for success, I can’t reiterate how important it is to know your dog, and learn their activity/sleep patterns. We have learned that Raven sleeps heaviest from 11-1 every night, and won’t alert between those times. More »

8733373815_d028cb96b1_bAt our house, we work hard and we play hard. That goes double for the Labs. Diabetic alert dogs use scent, and are “on duty” 24 hours a day, as they can’t turn their noses off, whereas some other types of service dogs can be off duty when home, or when the vest comes off.

As such, we try and build in some routine to our day, to know that when we need the dogs most, they will be rested and ready to perform, not exhausted or burnt out from the days activities. More »

20130602-IMG_6099We had a pretty warm weekend here in So Cal. We took our kids over to their Grandma’s house (My mom, the woman behind Leave No Paws Behind)

Having 2 high prey drive dogs in Major and Raven makes time around the pool interesting. Our dogs LOVE water and fetching toys, and they both have great endurance. While it is a fantastic trait for a DAD caring for kids, when it comes time for those same kids to be in water throwing rings and dive toys and jumping, diving, and splashing, well, let’s just say the dogs go on “heightened alert”. Everything is amplified, the kids are excited, the dogs are excited, and it can spiral out of control pretty quickly. More »

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