We are constantly playing scent games and training with scent. When we have a low blood sugar issue with Stella (a BG level under 70) we swab her mouth with cotton a freeze it to use at a later date. Here, we are working with Major to “find it”. We have just taken a sample and left it out in the house for him to find. Sometimes we keep it in a pocket, or Stella carries it, or we can use it in specific scenarios, like with Stella in her bed with the lights off. We even have a “fetch stick” that we can fill with scent and play fetch with. More »

My wife and I were outside with the dogs, enjoying the quiet from the kids and a cup of coffee. And then it happened. Raven alerted. Both kids were inside playing Wii. And yelling. That’s how you play Wii, isn’t it? I didn’t get to my phone until after Raven had a pretty good grip on the bringsel.  More »

Major&StellaI am not a dog trainer. I am a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes. And I’m a dog lover. I am always looking for a tool to help make diabetes management easier and safer for my child and a dog lover. So when my wife and I heard about DAD’s, we were very interested.

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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 »

Where normal is you never know what to expect…

The dogs seem to be back on track with the alerts to this new insulin. We are still keeping very close tabs, walking them through if they miss, but we haven’t had a false alert in awhile which is great. More »


Major is alerting. This alert tells me the girl doesn’t feel well 😉

I feel I need to preface this post with a disclaimer. This blog is meant to be an honest depiction of life with these amazing dogs. And this particular post is a reflection of where I am as a handler, and how these dogs have been asked to fit into our family personally, based on the needs of OUR family and specifically our daughter, and is in no way a reflection of these dogs abilities, which far exceed any of my capabilities. This post is an effort to try and tell myself that I am still doing great with these dogs. Because honestly? Sometimes I feel like I am letting them down. I feel like they are Ferrari’s, and i am only qualified or ready to drive a Honda Civic. They are capable of so much more.

Have you taught you DAD different alerting behaviors to mark different types of issues? Something like a bow to signal a low, a wave for a high, or maybe hitting the right or left hand? How about grabbing some type of tool like a bringsel that is around the house or that you wear on your person?

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Raven saying “I’ve got your back mom”

There has been a lot of talk on the internet this week about “Dead in Bed” syndrome stemming from that linked article. My wife makes it a habit to check our daughter 4 times over night. Once at bed time, then midnight, 2 am, and when we get up at around 5:30-6am. And  that is on a night when the numbers are good. More »

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