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”

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We spend a great deal of time with dogs. Our dogs use/need things like beds, crates, harnesses, toys, training gear, leashes, collars, food, etc. We require things that are sturdy and long lasting, that work well, and that are easy to use. I will randomly post a piece/review on some of our favorite things, gear we love, products we use, etc. First up is our new Kuranda Reversible Pads.

For those of you that follow along,  we use Kuranda cots for our dogs to “place” on. It is their go to spot in the house. We have 3 of the cots, 2 in our family room, and 1 in our bedroom. We love them for lots of reasons, easy to clean, easy to move, indestructible, orthopedic, and they can be used outside.  About a year ago, we were in a contest, and won a fleece cover for one of our cots. That cot, especially in the winter and at night, is the “coveted” cot :), and normally Raven’s on it. Here is a picture of our cots, and you can see the one on the right has the pad:

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1540321_751143614913873_106988886_oHi everybody! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. It’s been awhile since we updated, it has been insanely busy here, and it’s not letting up yet. We had a wonderful Christmas, we have an extra visitor here for a week, (more on that later) and we have some family flying in from places much colder than here for a couple of days.

As a service dog handler, something I hear a lot is “that must be a rough life for a dog”, or “it seems like a cruel fate”, or even things like “how do you manage to not pet them, and only let your daughter interact with them?”

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Every once in awhile, a dog comes along that changes everything. For me, that dog is Major. I have had dogs all my life. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember a day since I was a child without one. There have been a lot of dogs. But there has never been a dog like Major. He had a rough start in life. Undeserved. Cruel. And unlike people, he holds no grudge. But like a lot of people, he was looking for an opportunity to prove himself. To show his stuff. To make a difference. To be loved. To be appreciated. He has flourished in our home. He continues to make me smile. To make me say “WOW!” To make me wonder how he does what he does. And he does it all for a scratch behind the ears, a treat, and a warm place in my heart.

He is our protector. Not just my daughter’s. He watches over all of us. He always needs to see both Stella and Dash when we are out. He insists that we exercise together. He keeps us safe. Yes, he has saved Stella’s life more than once. But he has saved mine too.

He is our dog. Our companion. Our friend. Our protector. Our running buddy. Our keeper of secrets. Our type 1 diabetes warrior. He is our family. Today is his 4th birthday. I can’t begin to tell you how much this dog means to me. I LOVE this dog. He has changed my life. He has rekindled my passion for photography. He has made my daughter’s health better. He has introduced us to amazing friends, people that are now family. Just a dog? Hardly…

I apologize in advance for the length of the video. But understand, it could have been HOURS with the amount of images I have of Major. I had to pull down the audio. But feel free to play Cat Stevens “I love my dog” in the background 😉

I love my dog…

Team Blackdogsrule

20131026-P1010918That picture pretty much sums up how much fun we had. On Saturday, we did the Lake Elsinore Color Vibe run with some of our Canine Hope friends. The Color Vibe run has a great, festive, fun feel to it. There are no clocks or timers. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t much running involved at all. More »

Shhhh, don’t tell Raven she is working. Or in training. Or learning. She just thinks she is having fun.

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Major on the moon

Tackling our 3rd reader question today, and it’s a good one dealing with “life with a service dog”.

Pasha-Anna Federov asks: “I would like to hear your thoughts on travel with a DAD, amusement parks, airplanes, long car trips, zoo/fair with lots of other animals around. Also, does Stella go to sleepovers, or visit grandparents without you? And, if so, what happens to the dogs? Do they go with her? Stay home with you?”

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On our Facebook page last week, I asked if any of our members had a topic about DAD’s or diabetes, and several great topics came up that I will be covering here soon. The first one I wanted to cover was from Jenn Demchuk. She writes:

“I would like to hear more about the bonds developed between the DAD’s and family members. How have they developed, which DAD is closest with Stella? Does Stella have a preference for one of them? What about with the other members of your family? Do you have a preference? Who’s personality meshes best with who? And I know they have different strengths and weaknesses as DAD’s (why you have two) but which one is the stronger or even more consistent?”

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