People always tell me how handsome I am. They comment on my brindle coat and think I’m a crossbreed. I am one hundred percent black lab with a little bling! Strangers see me before they notice I’m attached to my handler.
I hear them say, “Hello, beautiful,” to which Christy responds, “Thank you.”
I may be good looking, but my nose is my greatest asset. I wish I could explain to you how it works, but being a dog, I can’t speak human. Christy thought you might like this Ted Talk on how a dog’s nose works.
I smell a lot of things, millions to be exact. But, the most important scent I detect is when Christy’s blood sugar drops. She can’t feel it happening. When it does, I spring into action by grabbing the bar that hangs from my collar.
When she sees me holding it in my mouth, she knows to immediately test her blood sugar. I get a JACKPOT reward for doing my job. Jackpot rewards include high value treats saved for that purpose only. So far, duck jerky is my favorite.
I promise to tell you one day how I learned this super power. But until then, just call me by my superhero name.
You might be wondering how do I know my mom’s blood sugar is dropping?
I’ve been raised since birth to be a working dog. I lived in a great puppy raiser home, learning basic good behavior skills until I was almost two years old. Then I went to Guide Dogs for the Blind where I was trained to learn skills necessary to assist a visually impaired person.
I have one problem that stopped me from placement: I like to slurp everything and when I do, my mouth makes a chomping sound.
I may have been intelligent enough to work for a blind person, but being too friendly was a distraction. A service dog must stay 100% focused on the handler, but I loved greeting people.
Please note I DID NOT FAIL…I was “career changed” and sent to Dogs for Diabetics (D4D) to specialize in scent training. A dog’s nose can smell millions more scents in one sniff than a human can. When Christy’s blood sugar drops, I can SMELL it long before it becomes dangerous and alert her to the problem.
Since she can’t feel the side effects of low blood sugars anymore, we were placed together. We were meant to be a team as she loves my happy slurping and chomping. In fact, one of my nick-names is chomper.
I’ll tell you more in future posts, but for now, I must go…do my business. Slurp you next time!