Mar 14, 2010

Here it goes.

This is Molly, a four-month old Havanese puppy. She is pretty daft, being a puppy and all. Hopefully she will grow up to be the next Lassie, though smaller and dirtier. At the moment she is enjoying her own turds and generally, any piece of crap she can wolf down before we get to her. Despite her disgusting taste, our intention is to train her to become a hypo alert dog. This would mean that, in the future, she could smell low blood sugar - also known as hypoglycemia - and alert us about it.

This is where we come to Eli. He is four, too, but in years. And he has type 1 diabetes. Which he dislikes occasionally, asking when it'll go away. 'Never' is not the answer you want to give to your child. But hopefully the future will bring better treatments and more options. Until then, all we can do is make it easier for him.

One problem with type 1 in children are the lows and not spotting them. When a small boy is engulfed in his pile of Lego, no amount of shakes, sweats, headaches or hunger will get him out of there. Combined with sudden crashes in blood glucose levels, this can have disastrous results. The lows often happen at night so we, the adults, have to get up to check the levels to make sure Eli will still wake up in the morning. As horrible as it sounds. This is where Molly steps in in all her stinky glory. If she can A) learn to smell the lows and B) learn to alert us when the lows occur, then C) we can fix them. Easy peasy. Hopefully.

The purpose of this blog is to record Molly's training and hopefully give information to others considering training their own DAD (=the acronym sometimes used for 'Diabetic Alert Dogs').
Whether the blog will be updated on time, or at all, is another question.
Wish me luck.

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