Gotcha Day! (Dogs for Diabetics)

Gotcha Day! (Dogs for Diabetics)

On August 9, 2021, Christy and I celebrated the fourth anniversary of our GOTCHA day.

What’s gotcha day? I’m glad you asked. Gotcha day is the day every client at Dogs for Diabetics longs for. It’s the day every client dreams of, and works hard to achieve.

There is a process to go through in order to arrive at gotcha day.

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Insulin pump

Bullied by a Little Black Box Called an Insulin Pump (For my Diabetic Friends)

Airplanes have had them for years. Cars have had them since 2013. I’ve had one since 1996. I’m talking about my personal little black box, an insulin pump.

It’s smaller than most cell phones, often mistaken for a pager. (What’s a pager and why would someone need one? They only use them in restaurants, buzzing for you to pick up your food.)

My little black box or the “insulin pump” has become more sophisticated since I first started using one to keep my diabetes in control.

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Aiden in bathtub

Confessions of a Black & Brindle Lab

Typically, Labradors love water. A couple years ago, I went to diabetes camp with all my furry friends and their handlers. I donned a life vest as Mom took me in a canoe, paddling us out to the middle of a very deep, dark lake. I perched nervously in the bow of the canoe, watching my mom enjoy the sunny day. When we finally made it back to shore, I hopped out onto dry land, relieved she didn’t make me go for a swim.

I’m not your typical Labrador.

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The Birth of a Book

When I was a second grader, my teacher, Mrs. Olson, told me I was destined to be a writer. I wrote five pages about my dog and won first place in the writing contest Mrs. Olson created for her second-grade writers. That was in 1972 and I never forgot her words, always dreaming of becoming an author.

There is no feeling more exhilarating than opening a box to find a dozen books with your name on the front. I compare the process to giving birth. There’s the conception, the long haul of putting words into story… and that is only the beginning.

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Aiden reuniting with Christy

Dogs Can’t Tell Time

Have you ever been separated from someone you love for a long period of time?

For a dog, a few minutes can seem like a lifetime to be gone from your master. Recently, my handler, Christy had COVID and tried to get better at home, but after a week of struggling, she left for the emergency room.

I was left at home because she was too sick to have me by her side.

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Christy Hoss and Aiden, her service dog

Viva Dog Vegas

I’m just a hunka, hunka, slurping dog!

Yes, that’s me, dressed as Elvis. Before Mom wrote The Rubber Band Stretches: Rocky’s Story (Rocky impersonates Elvis in this book), she dressed me as Elvis for Dogs for Diabetics annual fundraiser, which had a Las Vegas theme. Her costume was the iconic Las Vegas welcome sign. Everyone wanted picture with the sign, so she shared it as a prop.

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Christy Hoss signing books

My First Book Launch Party

It finally happened! The party I had planned for my first book last year, The Rubber Band, took place for my second book, The Rubber Band Stretches: Rocky’s Story.

As COVID restrictions began to lift, thirty-plus people were able to enjoy fun, games, and prizes and tons of pizza at Joey’s Pizza (the very one mentioned in the books!).

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Service Dogs are Not Pets

My Invisible Handler: A Service Dog’s Perspective

I’m a service dog and we are not to be bothered by anyone while we are working. Working means I am wearing my jacket and I’m attached to a leash from my handler’s hand.

No one should acknowledge me while I’m on duty. But they do. People call out to me things like, “Hello puppy,” “good doggy,” and my favorite, “Hello beautiful,” to which Christy responds, “Thank you.”

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Fun Facts about Rocky ‘Roadkill’ Espinosa (Main Character in ‘The Rubber Band Stretches’)

Rocky’s real name is Rockefeller Espinosa. His middle name has not yet been revealed. He has an older brother and baby sister but does not remember them.

His ex-con father, Eduardo, gave him a picture of the three siblings, telling Rocky the children were the reason he made it through his long days in prison.

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Fireworks and Dogs: Not a Happy Combination

Fireworks and Dogs: Not a Happy Combination

I grew up around Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. Every night the fireworks blast away. I got so used to it, I never gave them a second thought.

However, I’ve been with Christy four years and lived away from that noisy scene. I’d forgotten about all the bangs and rumbles.

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