So, aside from the question “Why 2 dogs?”, the next question comes up alot.

“Why do you need a DAD?”

I will share just 1 of many specific reasons here. This will probably be the first of an on-going series of “Why a DAD?”.

As Type 1 parents, we tend to walk around in perpetual exhaustion. There are multiple checks at night. Our night goes like this, and I will keep it simple, based on an average night:

1. Check the girl’s BS when she goes to bed.  (If it’s in range, great. If not, I could do 3 more posts on all the different things that may need to happen, decisions to be made, etc. Bedtime is scary time)

2. Check again when the parents go to bed.

3. Set Alarm for midnight and 3. (This is normal unless a low correction or an aggressive high correction is made)

4. Check her again at wake-up (6am)

Now we do all of this even WITH a DAD. Animals are living, breathing things, just like us. They can miss an alert, be extremely tired from a day out with the kids, not feel well, any number of things could lead to a missed alert. So the DAD’s aren’t robots or alarms, they are part of a redundant back up system. A safety net. Dogs are NOT responsible for my child’s health or life, we parents are. But they do come in really handy.

Which leads us to last night.

Occasionally an alarm goes off. You wake up, turn it off, then accidentally go back to sleep. After all, you haven’t slept 8 hours in a row (sometimes you don’t sleep 8 hours in 48 hours) for 3 years. This happened last night.

Raven sleeps on my side of the bed. She sleeps on a Kuranda cot , and when she alerts, she stands up on her hind legs and puts her front paws on the bed, and then starts to nudge the person with her nose. If that still doesn’t wake someone up (a cold nose at 2 am generally does the trick) she will get on the bed and get on the person. If she wants you up, she will wake you up.

So anyway, the alarm was turned off and no one woke up. At 1 am, Raven got up and alerted my wife. There is always a bit of confusion followed by dread when you look at the clock and realize it’s past the normal check. My wife got up and took Raven with her (we always take the dogs with us on checks). Stella’s BS was 202. Laurie bolused her and gave her lots of love and praise. Had we not checked until 3am, she could have well been on her way to 400. Even with that, Raven alerted again just before 3am, and Stella was 220. So even with the correction, her BS was still going up. So she was definitely going higher. Great job Raven.

Until there’s a cure, there’s a DAD

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  1. Frank,

    I just learned of your blog through a post by

    Our family began our journey to train our own D.A.D in October of 2012. Bo, our English Labrador, is now 6 months and he had his first alert last week. We have a lot of work ahead of us with Bo’s D.A.D. training and public access training, however his alert last week gave us much hope.

    I’ve only read your most recent post so far but will definitely go back to read your entire story.

    I am blogging our journey to raise Bo at:

    I look forward to following your blog.


  2. Thank you Jenn! I’ve only just begun the blog this week. There is a lot more over at

    I look forward to reading and following your blog, and congrats on the first alert! That is so exciting


  3. Hello Jenn and Frank,

    I stumbled upon this post the same way as Jenn. We are in week two of our adventure in training a D.A.D for my 11 year old son Alex. We are thrilled to have begun our training with her (with the assistance of a local scent trainer and the Diabetic Alert University) and I am already amazed at what a puppy can learn in such short time.

    Thanks for blogging guys. I just love to hear the success stories and experiences from folks like yourselves, it keeps me inspired!


  4. Welcome aboard Betsy! If you ever have any questions, let me know

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