Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How Does He Do That?

I get the basic mechanisms and foundations for a Diabetic Alert Dog.  I have a good understanding of dog training…..but Bravo has started doing something that I can not explain. 

It starts about 2 days before a low.  Bravo gets EXTREMELY clingy.  I am talking like if I am home if I stop he is going to run into me.  He openly defies the place command but yet is very contrite about doing so.  I have a place mat in my office at work…normally he goes into the office and sleeps on this place mat.  However, on the days he is clingy he will literally belly crawl to my side when he thinks I am not looking.  If I try to leave him inside while I go take out the garbage he barks at the door. Normally Bravo is extremely complaint!!!!!

So what is it EXACTLY that he is picking up on????  How is he doing it so far in advance??????  I do not have the answer to this.  When a dog alerts for a low blood sugar there is a clear communication between dog and handler.  There is a known scent that goes with the low blood sugar.  There is a different scent that goes with a high blood sugar. Sometimes the scent alert might not be so obvious to the outsider…but sometimes it is very clear.  For example, I was in CA visiting my sister and her family.  My sister had not met Bravo before this trip.  We went to the LA County fair for a dock-jumping event.  My sister was escorting Bravo, while I had Radar. I was talking to some friends so she had started for the gate and I told her I would catch up.  I was gaining ground on them but watched as Bravo kept moving from heel position to basically blocking her path.  I watched this scene re-occur about 3 times before I caught up to them.  When I ask what was going on my sister replied “YOUR DOG WONT LET ME WALK BECAUSE MY D*(% BLOOD SUGAR IS LOW!”  I grinned and said, “Treat your low, and he will let you go!” She rolled her eyes and got a piece of candy out.  A little while later we were in the car heading to the restaurant.  Bravo was in the back on the car; he refused to lie down and just kept getting more and more agitated…pacing panting, etc.  Sure enough I was low…as soon as I treated the low he laid down and went to sleep.  Those are more clear indications that something is amiss….but just being clingy????????

I am testing the theory of his clinginess indicating a low is coming by logging his behavior from day to day.  I have a hunch that he is picking up on something that is occurring in my endocrine system that is a precursor to these lows…but I am not sure. I will keep you posted as time goes on. 

As always……while I may not be able to scientifically explain all of what Bravo is doing, I AM REALLY GLAD HE DOES!

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