904122_600075823353987_450448929_o Night time alerting. Most often it is the number 1 reason someone cites for wanting a DAD. And it is often followed up with “and then we can sleep through the night” as if the dog will catch the low, go get a juice box, treat the low, and then go back to bed. Or catch the high, bolus to correct, and do all of that while you stay snuggled up in bed.

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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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11003235465_f8f15bb56f_bRaven is our night alerter. She sleeps in our room, next to our bed, on a Kuranda cot, as seen above. We have learned from trial and error, that if Raven sleeps on a pillow type dog bed, a foam mattress type bed, or in bed with us, she sleeps too hard and doesn’t wake up at night to alert. When she sleeps on the Kuranda cot, that is not an issue. She is able to wake up and alert just fine. That has been working well for us right up until… More »

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It’s been awhile since i have talked about the amount of training that is involved with having a successful Diabetic Alert Dog. We are constantly┬á working on something, whether it is reinforcing behaviors we already know, like the basics of “sit, stay, down, come, etc”, or working on scent training using low samples when our daughter is either away from the house, or at a good BG level, or doing something new and fun like Agility or Rally

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Once again, it was mentioned that our “leave it” training may be a little cruel and unusual. In my opinion, It is also a little unusual to take a dog to the grocery store, a restaurant, or a movie theater, and that requires some specialized/intensive training. But there are even more reasons for it. Let me include a scenario for you, and if you have dogs, you know this very well.

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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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20130915-IMG_4893On Sunday, 9/15/13, we met up with a big group of Canine Hope members at a local mall for some public access training. We had several families that were self training, several puppy raisers, a few placed dogs (like Major and Raven) and several of the families recently matched with dogs in the program. This particular mall had all the requirements we needed for training, elevators, a food court, stairs, a loud toy store, a kids play area, a dark bowling alley with a huge arcade and all the noises and spinning lights, lots of foot traffic, and several long narrow hallways for recall and heeling work. And air conditioning ­čśë

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