Posts Tagged: diabetic alert service dog

Puppy Love

It’s a good thing I’m a laid-back, tolerant kind of guy because this black furball can get on my nerves at times.

No matter what I do, he’s in my face, literally chewing on my ears or my lips. He especially likes pulling me around by my bringsel or alert bar.

One day Rocky did something I’d never do. He chewed off and swallowed a cloth leg from his favorite octopus Kong toy that used to look like this:

Mom has since cut off all the tentacles.

Mom had to make Rocky throw up because he was having tummy trouble. Sure enough, up came a slimy blue leg and everything else he’d eaten.

EWWW! Little brothers are gross!

But he’s not so little anymore. If it weren’t for my brindle markings on my coat, mom says she wouldn’t be able to tell us apart.

Whenever a new dog comes around, that usually means we are fostering or dog-sitting. But Rocky isn’t going away. He’s a permanent part of our family.

Since it is the month where humans celebrate love, I’ll give him an obligatory friendly slurp, and maybe a “keep your distance” nip.

Mom is trying her best to train him in basic obedience. He can be wild, but when she puts him on a leash, he acts like Superman with kryptonite. He melts into a puddle and doesn’t move.

I guess he’s here to stay. Welcome to the family, Rockefeller or Rocky. Mom sure picked the right name for you!

A Dog’s Nose Knows

I was really busy last night doing my job.

Two times, just a couple hours apart, Christy had a low blood sugar, and I was awakened, making sure she was going to be okay. She told me it was pretty bad because she saw stars spinning around as she stumbled to get some sugar. I was ready to get help and wake up Kevin if she gave me the command.

Even though I enjoy being a regular dog, I’m always – how would you humans say it? – “on-call,” so I’m never off duty.

My super-sniffing nose is working 24/7 to smell low and high blood sugars and alert Christy before it becomes an emergency.

For non-diabetics, normal blood sugar is 80-120 mgdl (milligrams per deciliter). When Christy tested last night, her number came up in the low 30s. No wonder she saw stars.

During the day I alert Christy by holding in my mouth the cloth bar (or bringsel) that hangs from my collar

But at night, I often have to get up and move around, I make a mooing sound or sometimes I will even jump on the bed to get her attention.

No matter how I carry out my job, my nose knows what it’s doing.

A Dog’s Thoughts on Holiday Decorations

When Mom wasn’t dressing us up for Christmas card pictures, she’d take me with her as usual, wherever she needed to go. Sorry, Rocky, you have to stay at home.

I met a nice Santa, but he’s not the real reason we celebrate.

The birth of Jesus is the reason.

Everywhere I went this Christmas I encountered larger-than-life decorations. A strange whirring sound comes along with them. But if the sound wasn’t there, the decorations wouldn’t be either.  I couldn’t resist sharing a few of them with you.

These teddy bears got a little friendly with me. They also forgot to ask if they could pet the service dog!

One of the decorations looked to me like a nice doghouse, so I laid down for a rest.

I met a snowman, but it wasn’t Frosty. How do I know this? My sniffer told me he wasn’t made of the magic Christmas snow.

Nearby was the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer story. But he wasn’t scary at all.

The only things that scare me are thunder and fireworks. So, remember, if you have a pet who’s afraid of fireworks and plan to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, make sure they are in a secure place with plenty of comfort. I’d hate to have my furry comrades lost.

Happy New Year!

Aiden

Christmas Tails

It’s cold and frosty in the morning and Mom says if we’re lucky, it might snow one of these days.

Do I know what the cold weather means?

Yes, I do.

Even though I have a warm furry coat, Mom is going to dress me in sweaters and jackets, like this plastic dog.

Cold weather also means Christmas is coming. It’s the time of year when Mom gets all the boxes from storage (and there are more every year). Out of the boxes come things that make Mom happy. She puts on Christmas music while she sticks these things everywhere.

Dad, on the other hand, puts up lights outside all over the house and assembles the trees. They don’t smell like trees; they smell like dusty plastic.

Except for this one in The Landing, our new community center.

I like Christmas because Mom gets me tasty treats and some new squeaky toys. But this year, I have a little brother to contend with. Whenever I pick up a toy to play with, he’s right there, taking it from me.

Oh well. No matter what, Mom says I don’t have to worry because I’m a good boy and good boys always get a lot of treats and toys.

I’ll just have to play a game of “keep away.”

Does that still mean I’m a good boy?

Surprise! It’s a Boy!

This is part 3 in a 3-part series.
Read part 1: Adventures on the Road
Read part 2: A Dog on the Road


After many days away, I’m finally home to familiar places. My soft kennel and the plush bed inside, my box filled with all my toys.

But after only one night back, the next thing I know, Mom gets her anniversary/birthday present.

I’m not sure what to think of this short, sort of mini-me. All it wants to do is chew on me and steal my toys. I can no longer enjoy ice cubes alone without him bugging me.

This all started the day after we arrived in California. Mom got a notice from our friend, Rita, about some Lab puppies. Mom has been thinking of the future when I might need a friend at home, and she had been looking into getting a puppy for me.

Somehow, I think a puppy was mostly for her sake. But what I know for sure is I’m a very smart service dog and this guy can learn a lot from me, including doing his business in the right spot.

He has accidents, but Mom says he’s still a baby and has a lot to learn.

My new little brother is named after one of Mom’s main characters in The Rubber Band series, Rockefeller, or Rocky for short. It’s very appropriate as he likes to pick up rocks outside and try to eat them.

I still do my job, and nothing has changed for me, except I have a little shadow.

Mom is teaching him the elevating bowl as he waits to get the okay to eat. He’s learned to sit and is highly motivated by food. We at least have food motivation in common.

Okay. I admit. It’s kind of nice to have another four-legged friend around here to play tug with. But having a sibling is annoying and I wish I could go back to when I got all the attention.

But when Mom compared puppy photos of us, she said we look like brothers.

Aiden as a puppy

Rocky

She said it’s meant to be and since he isn’t going away, ever – I will agree with Mom and love my little brother with a few nips and slurps.

A Dog on the Road

This is part 2 in a 3-part series. Read part 1: “Adventures on the Road.” 


Traveling is always an adventure, but our trip back from California got extended as we spent two weeks in a place called Ogden, Utah.

Mom wrote about it in her October newsletter.  You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

It was hard for Mom, but our friend (also a client from Dogs4Diabetics) brought us goodies, Thank you Erryn!

And this sweet couple from our church in Santa Rosa had us over for dinner. I met their fur baby, Whimsey.

Mom said the best thing was when the newlyweds drove all those miles we’d already covered to be with us and help Mom celebrate her birthday.

We decided to have some fun. I’m not sure what all the excitement is about over these brick things, but a couple of boxes came back to the guest house with us.

We also went to this place where Mom made a stuffie. It reminded me of my toybox at home. I missed home.

It seemed like forever but soon we were on our way in an RV, where I got to sit between Mom and Kevin as they drove.

We stopped for the night at this cool place with a lake.

I got to run all by myself in a large dog park. I was so happy because it seemed like I’d been spending a lot of time on the road without a good stretch.

…Although, I was given the couch after a while.

I was so happy when I finally got home to sleep in my own soft kennel and snuggle with Mom in her bed.

But then something else happened and life changed forever.

To be continued . . .

Adventures on the Road

So, if you subscribe to my Mom’s newsletter, you probably heard about the adventure we had traveling last month. (If you missed it, click here to read the October newsletter.)

I’m always up for adventure, and, of course, I see things differently than Christy does. I’m always happy to see signs like this one at a grocery store.

They validate my job, as people see a true service dog in action.

Mom couldn’t resist a photo of me with all the Halloween decorations. Even though they were tall, with bright lights and scary noises, they didn’t bother me at all.

The first pit stop on our journey home was at a historic place called Donner Pass. I think I smelled old bones – just kidding!

We stayed the night in a place called Boom Town. I have never had to wear a check-in tag before, but this hotel/casino just inside the border of Nevada required it.

The next morning, before we took to the road again, the humans had breakfast at a place called Mel’s Diner. Mom told me it was a famous place from a movie and made me pose for another photo.

Dad drove the truck pulling the camper, and according to Mom, it guzzled gas. To me, that means the car needs to stop for its kind of food.

I could smell the salt from the flats as we drove. There were no exits with food and gas for miles and Dad barely made it to a place called Sinclair to fuel up. It was hot, but Mom got me a pup cup for taking my picture with this dinosaur.

To be continued next time on my service dog blog.

Dogs Love Big Trees

One thing I miss about Northern California is the big trees.

We had one in our old backyard. I loved the occasional trip to the Redwood grove, where my paws walked on the soft, sandy ground and trampled the needles, giving off a unique musty scent that only the Redwoods can do.

It was wonderful that GraceAnne and Gabriel got married under a Redwood canopy.

The very next day, we showed our pastor and his family Armstrong Woods because they wanted to walk amongst the big trees.

I think they enjoyed themselves because we don’t have trees like this in Tennessee. You can barely see me next to Colonel Armstrong, the oldest tree in the grove.

We walked along and found a fallen tree’s old roots. It looks like a herd of octopus legs tangled up.

Another downed tree had people’s names carved in it. If you look closely, my name is in this tree.

But neither my mom nor I would desecrate a thousand-year-old tree or anything, for that matter. My mom is more of tree-preserver than a destroyer.

Time for a Wedding

One of the big reasons we traveled to Northern California was for a big event called a wedding. It’s something special between two humans.

Mom was excited because the wedding was for her only daughter, GraceAnne. I got to wear a fancy thing called a tuxedo. I felt so dapper.

With the smell of the Redwood trees all around me, GraceAnne and Gabriel got married. As my sniffer was enjoying the scents, Mom’s sniffer was dripping. Though tears were falling, I knew she was happy.

Afterward, I got to be in some of the pictures. Mom says I’m photogenic. I’m not sure what that means. However, I do know what handsome means.

My nose sniffed so much… GraceAnne even let me smell her bouquet.

A wedding really is a big deal and I had a lot of fun. I even took to the dance floor with Christy. But at the end of the day, I was happy to lie down and rest and soon take off my fancy garb.

I gave my heartfelt slurps as my fur-felt congratulations to the happy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Smith.

Visiting Snoopy’s House

Hello friends! Life has thrown us some curve balls, none of which I have caught or chased.

I was, however, a great support for Christy, as the past month was hard for her to go through, and every day continues to be challenging. Mom says if you subscribe to her newsletter, you will get some of the details on October 16.

But for now, it’s my turn to tell you of my adventures.

My favorite dog, Snoopy, has a special place in Santa Rosa called a museum. I felt validated in my job because only service dogs are allowed to visit the museum, and of course, they gave me a treat for being a good boy.

Everywhere I went, a friend of Snoopy’s showed up. Mom loves this mosaic of Charlie Brown.

And then there was Lucy.

Mom says Lucy and Charlie Brown remind her of her parents in many ways.   Mom introduced me to Snoopy’s brother, Spike.

I also met Snoopy’s good friend, a bird named Woodstock.

I’m undecided as to what kind of bird he is.

Snoopy and I are a lot alike in that we both love food and let our master know when we are hungry.

Mom smiled as she read this sign to me from the wall of the Warm Puppy Café

She says I’ll understand its meaning more when we get home and I will have lots to blog about because of it.

Do you happen to know what she’s talking about?

Snoopy is not afraid to try anything and even plays one of the hardest sports, hockey.

I guess that’s why he’s a really cool role model dog.


Want to read more about me and Snoopy? Read last week’s blog post, “Making Friends With Snoopy.”