1548117_754204037941164_93245368_o1239441_519688824772260_297999567_n 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”

Dear Woman at Home Depot,

Normally, someone with an ounce of empathy marvels at how amazing it is that we have dogs with the ability to save our child’s life. The fact that these dogs can detect this scent from 100 yards away, outside at a football game, with screaming and sweating and popcorn and hot dog scent wafting around is normally enough to impress even the most hardened of us. Some people are amazed that our dogs just lay there ignoring you while you make cooing sounds and bend down to touch them as you read out loud the “DO NOT PET” patch while running over their tails with your cart. But not you. No, you want more. And I apologize for not impressing you at the time, not entertaining you with stories of Christmas carols and vomiting and trips to intensive care with a dog that saved my childs life, or regaling you with stories of mass elevation in front of a room full of people with my daughter outside and 3 buildings away to alert to a low in a room full of diabetics that were high after lunch, so let me make up for it here. Because here are just a few of the other “services” our dogs provide.

We already know that these dogs can “smell” changes in a diabetics blood sugar. They can also detect it 5-30 minutes before these changes are picked up even by the most current technology. As a matter of fact, our dogs are so accurate, they can detect the BS when it drops below 85 or over 165. I know, “yawn”. “What else ya got?”966778_10201073171289108_891301334_o 976437_10201073170809096_1996756637_o703903_529172650444305_1938483877_o 463890_529172580444312_6810558_o460377_451884611506443_966172807_o

These dogs are our workout partners. They keep us healthy and in shape. They don’t care that it’s cold or wet or 5am. They need exercise, and guess what, so do we!

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They make great pillows when you can’t find one. And if you are just laying down to watch a little tv or play a video game, they are the perfect height.

413708_468738266487744_242396196_o 333674_294203083941264_639309308_o 331440_336443063050599_1645647084_o 904122_600075823353987_450448929_o 1010664_634206923274210_1763455462_n 385122_323091641052408_446494834_n 9177065604_f1d40ac354_o(1) 316318_305061602855412_1181966050_nThey make amazing snuggle buddies

8720626817_299a2b84da_b 461214_610222972339272_537350341_o 404503_626181827410053_1664646141_nThey are great kissers

6787964720_65d3f3c719_b 6787970178_50c661b9ab_b 1074582_653451094683126_2085700190_o 7178380491_c8a971dd7b_o 6228508463_90b7aae13b_b 20131014-IMG_6460 20131026-P1010999 20131208-IMG_2269 20131207-IMG_2011 1534430_750870708274497_1515746390_n 1523742_757657987595769_1292564241_o1421199_714770375217864_634739530_o 891590_714770441884524_1334051738_o


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They provide some much needed comic relief

10894717004_f58fbf4902_b 11061484804_977bc9827e_b 10792216986_414355788b_b 10792188405_cb06e3b017_b 11061526683_c0a90e6071_bThey give us ways to focus our energies, work with our strengths, problem solve, and have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we have taught them something new, or vice versa

10505280843_69cf326245_b 10505280173_98fca0cf56_b 8509041998_4f91b89a32_b(2) 20131208-IMG_2401 20131207-IMG_5975 20131207-IMG_5964 11768490126_9435319aa8_b 11866827766_658fd6eab4_b 20140201-IMG_6609 20140201-IMG_6591 9700620539_d01101b090_b 9549911221_530e84cbcd_b 6655795801_5b2ac9a4d0_b

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They make excellent models, and allow us to indulge our passion for photography

20111211-IMG_4394 20111211-IMG_4405 20111211-IMG_4407 20111211-IMG_4368

6508970675_7691468465_b 6508970113_410330ca22_b(1)They protect us and keep us company when we are in scary places

1073747_653451121349790_1523520457_o 1073987_653451128016456_1747602724_o 1078939_653451171349785_1404956965_o 1009426_645293775498858_876790057_o 8013808091_7df816da38_b 20130616-IMG_7428 20130616-IMG_7518 20130616-IMG_7430 8733373815_d028cb96b1_b 20130602-IMG_6099 20130602-IMG_6098 Raven retrieve training-17 20130602-IMG_6520 20130602-IMG_6326 8729682415_0b2523d4fe_b 20130413-IMG_5275 20130413-IMG_5269 20130413-IMG_5157 20130413-IMG_5055 20130413-IMG_4949

They really like to swim

And they have this uncanny knack for knowing exactly what you need, at the exact time you need it

8609090178_1cb6627385_b friend like that Hope 6825398312_7d536fea3c_b 20130629-P1010194 20130630-IMG_8584 20130630-IMG_8591 1052776_646540945374141_1146039190_o IMG_0147web 1008212_654129894615246_232238657_o 6508970675_7691468465_b 680311_528278563867047_187504_o 934664_658207210874181_1716397679_n 385122_323091641052408_446494834_n 1098329_660142594013976_1722953364_n 56369_517066718321565_554393049_o 1271928_673581252670110_203831349_o 20130915-IMG_5090 8117564161_b43a13c384_b(2) 20131207-IMG_5940 20131208-IMG_6023

So I say to you, woman in line at Home Depot, that yes, that really is all they do. Because honestly, If I really, truly, have to explain to you all of the amazing things that our dogs do for us, you wouldn’t understand anyway.

By the way, some of us believe these dogs are superheroes, just like our kids

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Team Blackdogsrule


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  1. Consider this my STANDING OVATION! Well done Frank

  2. Well done my friend, well done!!! Better yet, WELL DONE Major and Raven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    Take THAT ignorant lady at Home Depot! Hopefully your eyes are now opened to how truly remarkable these dogs are

  4. This is now officially my favorite post by you! Wish I had thought to write an open letter to the Woman at the Library Book Sale when she said to me, “Well, at least your kids have to eat a lot of vegetables now.” Really?!?

  5. Thank you so much for your story. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 27 years now. I had never heard about these angels of protection. I will investigate. There is so much that people don’t understand and yet they are very ready to judge. Keep up the great work.

  6. I really do bow to you. I love it. THANK You for sharing your life with us.

  7. Awesome!!! Great job!! The pictures are amazing!!

  8. Thank you for sharing!! I am the Aunt of an amazing 12 year old nephew who has Type 1 diabetes and I see how hard and challenging this disease is everday for him and his mom and family! Your story is helping many…so thank you!

  9. Preach it brother.

  10. Outstanding…Just OUTSTANDING..so many people are just clueless..thanks for allowing those who just do not understand to be able to grasp the genuine momentousness of our dogs..

  11. She is the reason people exhaust me and make me want to give up.
    My d.a.d. is the reason I don’t give up.

  12. Bravo ! ! !