Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Service Dog 1st. Diabetes Alert!

I've been partnered with Honey the Wonder Dog for nine years.

We have been together from her first on command sit.

To obedience school graduation.

To service dog training. 

Honey and I have been together through some tough challenges. Like me, Honey has had to adapt to my changing medical needs. I've always been impressed by her ability to know what I need, sometimes before I do.

When Honey was still in training, we were on a walk and Honey started dragging me. I tried to correct her for pulling, but she ignored everything. Instead she hauled me toward a park bench. I was annoyed and frustrated so I sat down. As soon as I sat down, Honey curled up at my feet.

I stood up. She stood up, put her paws on my knees and pushed me to sit back down. When I sat down, she curled up again. I'm kinda thick sometimes, because it didn't dawn on me what she was doing until the third time. My leg muscles were worn out. I needed to rest so I wouldn't fall.

MG used to cause drop attacks, where I would walk and then suddenly just fall. There wasn't any warning. My legs would work, and then the wouldn't. Bam! I'm on the ground.

While I was on the bench, I realized what Honey had just done. Spontaneously, and without any training, my dog did what needed to be done. I have not fallen since. Honey gives me a nudge and I have learned to sit down and rest. How she knows I haven't been able to figure out. She just does and I'm glad.

Last night Honey alerted me to a dropping blood sugar before Dexcom did. We were walking a few blocks from home when Honey suddenly stopped walking and looked me right in the eyes. As soon as I saw her expression I knew something was up, so I checked my Dexcom and sure enough it was 70.

She was backpacking juice boxes so I drank one. While I was drinking it I knew we needed to get back home, so I turned around. About a block later, Honey stopped and once again looked at me. Just then Dexcom went off. Low 55.

I got the second juice box out of her backpack and didn't immediately know what to do with it. The difference between a low blood sugar of 70 and low blood sugar of 54 is striking. I can't think clearly when I'm below 60. I knew I needed the juice box. That part I understood. For some reason, drinking it didn't occur to me. I knew I urgently needed the box, so I held on tight.

That's when Honey just kept staring at me. She didn't let up until I drank some juice. Know what? I think my dog just gave ME a treat!

Three cheers! Honey gave me a clear hypoglycemia alert. Good dog. Oh what a good dog. Send her a virtual dog biscuit. She's awesome.


  1. wow! whenever i read stories like this about service dogs in general or DADs in particular, i am amazed and overwhelmed with vicarious gratitude that they exist and are out there helping people. awesome! yay honey! :)

    1. My service dog changed my life. No question about it I am the person I am thanks to the love of my dog.



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