Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

photo (7)

I recently received this in the email from a friend of mine with the following …”disclaimer: my husband indicates that this image is not theologically correct.“ya think” Ha ha “

It is cute…It is funny….but here is where I am going to get weird… how really incorrect is this theologically?

I have been really really sick this week….because it is our busiest time at work I have been trying to push through it…well lets just say that didn’t work so well.  My BG is running between 200 and 500 and I have A LOT of insulin on board and well I am just a little goofy right now so bear with me.

From a pure religious point of view this could be taken as being very irreverent.  I don’t mean it to be that way at all.  Well I do think it might be a little irreverent to have the small shih tzu looking thing as baby Jesus……simply because they aren’t known for their nose work.  I guess it could happen that a shih tzu could become a Diabetic Alert Dog but I still think it would take A LOT of work.

But I do think this picture is somewhat theologically correct in that I truly do believe that service dogs…diabetic alert dogs in particular are GIFTS straight from Heaven to us morans here on earth that struggle to get the real meaning.  Think about it….what if God did send Bravo and Radar to me as a gift on loan to help save me from myself ( my body and sometimes bad choices)?????  I am not saying they are Christ but I am thinking they do have some Christ like tendencies.   They help me in good times and in bad.  They guide me to make better choices about treatment in that if I don’t they are going to be ever and always present and bugging me to be better at it. Hmmm am I digging a hole?  Is lightening going to strike??

If I take that thinking a little further training and being with a DAD is often like trying to sort out all of the religions here on earth.   Many trainers of these dogs (including ALL dog sports) think that there is ONLY ONE WAY to find God.  They often believe that their way is the ONLY way and if you don’t do it that way then you are bad or your dog is bad or your methods are bad.  You can only get the desired results by following the correct program! 

Like I said I am really sick right now so my thinking is goofy.  Bear with me…I have watched many VERY SUCCESSFUL and VERY sought after dog trainers do extremely well.  What I have observed is that SOME of them follow a particular program and when they get a dog that doesn’t learn the way they teach they wash the dog from the program and say the dog is worthless.  The dog gets somewhere else and all of the sudden the dog starts to succeed because how it was being taught changed.  The dog becomes successful.  I have watched others trainers who perhaps arent as big name take the time to figure out HOW the dog learns and believes that NO MATTER what they are going to stick it out.  They love the dogs enough to go the distance with them to help pull out all of the things that a dog is meant to be to a human.  To me me that is what almost any Religion tries to do with their followers…pull the absolute best out of us morans that are trying to find the right path in life.  Different Religions just ask the questions slightly different….EVENTUALLY we find the one that works best for us, that helps us ask the right question, but they do help us get to the RIGHT answer….which is that GOD LOVES US ALL. For us Christians He loves us so much that He sent HIS Son to us as baby.  But even among Christians they fight and think THEIR way is the only way.

I gotta be honest I am not always sure of all of the answers about religion or dog training.  I know that God loves me and I know that I love dogs enough that I am going to treat them as the gift they are to me and love them enough to build a STRONG relationship.  Just like my faith sometimes it takes LOVE and sometimes it takes DISCIPLINE but it always take UNDERSTANDING.   We are each different and dogs are each different.  When someone tells me they have all of the answers or that there is ONLY ONE WAY to do something..I usually don’t argue much…I learn as much as I can from them and then I run to the nearest exit.

I don’t know why I am writing this tonight on Christmas Eve but these are the thoughts on my heart tonight.  Before I go to sleep I am going to pray and Thank God for sending His Son for us and I am going to Thank Him for the most wonderful gifts I have in my life…my friends, my family and my dogs.  All 3 are gifts from Heaven and all 3 have taught me something in life.

Merry Christmas to you all….may you find your own path to what you are meant to be…but remember your path is not built alone.  Think outside the box and be thankful for what you have.  May God bless us all!

Christmas 2010 103Waiting and Watching   The meaning of the season…………

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Puzzle at 5 months

Christmas 2010 129

Puzzle is growing up!  She is no longer the cute cuddly puppy that she once was but is now turning into a busy active dog.  She has lost all of her baby teeth on one side of her mouth and the other side they are loose.

Puzzle is one of the best puppies I have ever had the privilege to raise. She is an awesome alerter and a joy to be around.  She is starting to hit what I call the terrible 2’s in dog terms but even this phase is MILD compared to what I have seen from others I have raised.  She is just a very sensitive and loving dog that wants so badly to please.  She is young but the pieces are all there!

She does well with scent games and does even better with real time scent.  I have had a horrible sinus infection. With diabetes when you are ill your BG often runs higher. On Sunday no matter what I did I could not get my BG below 200.  With 4 alert dogs in the house it was getting annoying with all the alerting, so I put every one but Bravo in their port-a-kennel.  I am laying in my recliner when I hear whining from my bedroom.  I go in and Freedom, Radar, and Puzzle are all 3 whining and moaning in the kennels.   Pretty soon I could only hear one dog whining…the whining gets loader and almost sounds like a moan. It continues to get loader when all the sudden it turns into howling.  Not howling like a bored dog in a back yard. I go back into the bedroom and here is Puzzle with both paws half way up the kennel door, while laying down. As I bent down to see what the problem was she throws her head back and lets loose with this howl, moan, groan, yawn combo.  Since this was a sound I had not heard before I opened her kennel door and she jets out and sits right at my feet and STARES up at me.  She then paws at my leg.  I reach down pet her and tell her thank you.  I then put her back in her kennel.  About a half hour goes by……..when she starts doing it again.  I have got to get a video of this….it is a sound that I have never heard a dog make before.  Cheveyo (her dad) has a sound that is unusual as well but this was even different that that.  It was almost like she was in pain because I was sick.

Anyhow I am really digging this pup.  She is now ready to start doing some more rigorous obedience and public access stuff.  I have raised a lot of puppies in the last 15 years…but this one is trying really hard to crawl into my heart!  She is a very special dog who I know is going to be for a very special person!

Christmas 2010 126 

How can you not love this face!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Dentist

What can a dentist have to do with a Diabetic Alert Dog forum??

Well today I had to go to the dentist….I LOVE my dentist but I hate the profession…….sorry but I once had a very horrible experience with a dentist who is currently in prison for dealing drugs….he drilled into my sinus cavity and in general caused a LOT of pain and suffering.  You turn on that drill in a dentist office and I am like a deer in the headlights of your car!

Sorry I digressed a little….my dentist is a really cool guy that I originally met when he called me to get some dog training.  He became a hero when he fixed some of the handiwork work of the druggie dentist that scarred me for life!  Dr Toone is a good man.  He likes dogs, seems to be a good dad, and a good husband, and in general gets life….I just don’t like going to the dentist…so therefore I don’t see him but about once a year or so and then only after I am nagged into it.  I know me being a fraidy cat about dentist  doesn’t fit the the rest of me.

Today at the dentist I was filling him in on my life of the last year.  He was very interested in hearing what diabetic alert dogs are and what they can do.  With both elbows in my mouth he makes a profound statement…”KC….I do believe you have found your purpose in life.” He goes on to say..”KC you are one of the most honest, down to earth people, who knows dogs and loves people, and you can combine all of those gifts”. “ That is just incredible…what do you see as you role?”  Through all the drool, my mind is racing.  What am I going to do?  We chat more about the various DAD agencies and what some of them are charging for a dog and how it seems out of reach for some.  My brain is still racing…it is almost putting thoughts out as fast as he little suction thing is sucking up the drool. He is done, gives me lots of things to think about and I hit the road.

What is my purpose in this?  What more can I do???  How can I help make a difference?  Don’t you just love those seemingly innocent moments that turn your life upside down?

What Am I?

For those of you who dont know this yet I am officially diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic.  Late onset but still type 1, which means that almost everything I have learned to this point about diabetes is now null and void.  This is auto immune and my body has a mind of its own.

I have been struggling to keep perspective….I KNOW a lot about Type 2 diabetes and while it is good information to know some of it doesn’t apply to Type 1.  Type 1 is is the simplest definition is my body has decided to stop producing any insulin and is attacking itself.  You know outside enemies are hard but when your own body is a spy working against you IT BITES!

For a long time they really didn’t know what I was….now they have decided I was/am in a “honeymoon” phase of type one.  It is an extended “honeymoon”.  I really want to know what genius come up with that particular term for this phase of T1 diabetes. May I just say at this point if I married diabetes and it treated me like diabetes has….I would have taken it to the west desert, killed it, and hid all remains!!!!  Come on……a honeymoon does NOT constitute in my head what my last year and half of life has been! UGH

Anyhow…all of us like/dislike labels. Sometimes we agree with the, sometimes we disagree but human nature is to categorize things. So for right now my label is T1 diabetes.  YES ADULTS CAN GET IT but no matter the age NONE of us want it.

A friend of mine has a 6 year old girl with T1 diabetes.  Her and her mom were cuddling on the bed when she asked her mom this question “If you could have 1 wish what would it be?”  Her mom replies “I don’t know, what about you?” all the while thinking this should be good….it is close to Christmas.   The little girl looks up and says “I would wish I didn’t have diabetes”.  How do you answer that?

Well I know what I have but like that little girl……….I wish I didn’t but since I do….how about using it to help people.  I have an unusual perspective in that I also have diabetes and I also know a far amount about dogs and I love to help people.  If I have to have it then I am not going to have it in vain.

Sometimes My Heart Aches….Part 2

Recently I have fielded many questions from various places about diabetic alert dogs. DAD’s are a lot  of HARD WORK…but in my opinion they are worth the amount of effort it takes.  Compared to dealing with diabetes DAD’s are easy…on top of diabetes it can seem insurmountable.  Honestly not everyone with diabetes is a good fit for a DAD….not every DAD is a good fit for that particular person.  It is a team thing and there is so much that we don’t know. 

I currently have 5 alerting dogs at my house at various stages in training. I have Bravo, Radar, Puzzle, Freedom, and Maxx.  Two of those five are permanent fixture, the other 3 are here for a time….for a reason and for a season.  There is a lot of humor when I go high or low and the dogs are all alerting.  The mental picture of the stare, the pawing, the smacking on the head, the howling in the kennel, and the bringsel’s or meters in mouth is FUNNY…but when you are low and still trying to deal with diabetes… also can make you ONRY!  Sometimes I can hardly get to the meter or the treatment of the low or high with all the dogs around me.  It is very interesting if you like dogs and dog behavior.

I live, eat, and breath dogs. Thank goodness….but I have to tell you I really don’t like deciding where dogs go.  It hurts my heart.  I LOVE training dogs.  I love being with the dogs.  I love what they teach me and watching them grow….but WHO AM I TO DECIDE WHO GETS THESE DOGS??????  It is frustrating to put your heart and soul into a dog and then for whatever reason the dog won’t do what it is suppose to do for the new person.  It is frustrating when you get calls like….”I am not going to dialysis because it just isn’t worth it but I NEED a diabetic alert dog.  It is frustrating when you spend time and energy in training and the dogs are treated like a soldier and because they didn’t take the order …they are bad dog or you are a bad trainer.