Sunday, January 18, 2009

23. Self-Taught Dog Alerts Diabetic of Low Blood Sugar

Today while visiting a shop, I happened to mention to the proprietor that I help people to train their own service dogs. She told me that her dog is a self-trained diabetic alert dog.

This woman works alone and her store is often very quiet. Occassionally her blood sugars drop (she has type 1 diabetes, diabetes mellitis) and she starts getting groggy at the counter. Her dog noses her arm to shake her up abit and at this point, the woman knows she needs to get some food into her quickly. If she goes past this point, as has happened on a couple of occasions, the dog noses her upright and when getting her up doesn't work, leaves the store to go get help.

The dog goes to a nearby store, gets someone to let her in, stops at then entrance and walk in circles to get attention of the employees. Then she walks around the room. If no-one pays attention, she repeats the behavior starting at the door, then someone has always noticed and she leads them back to the woman who needs help.

Just goes to show the significant impact that a service dog can have on someone's life, even if they are not certified! This dog looks and acts just like the dog next door. You'd never know of her special gift!

Have you heard of other stories of other dogs like this? We'd be interested to hear from you!