Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Amazing puppy!

Today I get to brag on my amazing puppy!  This past weekend when my friend, Dee the dog trainer, was here we taught Sarah a specific alert.  She gives us a paw when she smells a fluctuating blood glucose level.  It's amazing to watch.  She has been consistent and correct.  Blows my mind and even being such an integral part of her training I can't explain how it works except to say that my dog is brilliant!

One of the things we did while Dee was here was take Sarah to an ADA expo.  We weren't sure if it would be too much for her, she amazed us and did excellent.  We had a booth set up to advertise and spread awareness for Guardian angel Service Dogs.  Sarah would lay in a perfect down stay by my feet until she smelled something odd  ( a high or low BG) then she would paw with one paw, then two paws, then she would put her paws on my shoulders at which point I would ask if the person I was talking to thought they might be high or low.  One lady told me she is always in the three hundreds, another said they just treated a low, a couple of people were wearing CGMs that indicated either and up or down arrow.  One lady was so fascinated that she got out her meter and checked her BG and got a 223.  Good puppy!!

Even seeing her amazing skills at work there is a part of me that is still skeptical from time to time.  Yesterday upon waking and being let out of her crate, Sarah immediately pawed me.  She just wants a treat I thought.  I praised her and had Bekah check her BG number.  188  Sarah then got a treat, good puppy!  This morning I expected the same behavior of an immediate paw from Sarah upon waking.  No paw alert came.  Bekah's BG was 142.

This morning was a little more hectic than most at my house.  My oldest son has a terrible sore throat causing him to double over each time he swallows (no drama there).  My husband has a horrid case of veritgo.  I had to cancel an appointment for Josh then schedule and appointment for a throat swab.  I was on the phone with the pharmacy to see how much meclizine is safe for someone of Jason's weight to take in a 24 hour period (the meclizine doesn't do much for him though).  Amid all of this I was also getting breakfast for the kids and getting Bekah's morning stuff taken care of (daily BG log filled out for her teacher, making her lunch etc) Oh yeah and Bekah's pump was almost out of insulin.  She does do her own set changes but has to be mentally prepared for them.  Since her BG was at 142 I decided to fill the pump and change the set after school.  (Don't follow my example this is not really a good idea but it was what had to be done today.)

I gave Bekah her breakfast bolus and went about my activities.  Sarah was in a down stay waiting for her breakfast.  Bekah said "Mom every time I walk by Sarah she paws me".  I thought and said "well you just ate, you must be going high"  It was at that moment that Bekah realized she didn't eat her breakfast.  (she is not much of a breakfast kid and although probably not the best option not the worst either, she eats 10 organic animal crackers every morning for breakfast and she gets them herself)  If Sarah had not alerted Bekah would have forgotten to eat and could have had a devastating low blood glucose level at school.  I am still in awe of my puppy as I am writing this!  Our dog may have been expensive (we are still working hard at fundraising to pay for her) but she is worth her weight in gold.  I believe that she saved Bekah from a possible seizure today and maybe even worse.