Sunday, April 29, 2012
The pup rambled around the room, looking for mischief to get into! He tried to get Bravo to play, but Bravo wanted no part. He moved on to a bone where he contentedly started chewing! Suddenly, he lifted his head away from the bone and sniffed at the air. He looks around the room for the source of the scent, when his eyes settle on me! He lunges as fast as his little legs will carry him to jump up on me to tell me my blood glucose is low!
Saturday, April 28, 2012
The first time I ever knew something was really wrong with me that was just plain old diabetes. I was sitting in my regular GP’s office. I had been “diabetic” T2 supposedly for a couple of years. I took what they told me at that time pretty serious and did as advised! At that time I was getting A1c’s every 6 months or so, was on oral meds, and kept a fairly detailed log of what I was eating, what I was doing, and my numbers. My doctor at that time had never ONCE looked at them even though I had them with me. That particular day when she came in she started yelling at me that she “couldn’t believe that I could not care about my health and would let things get this bad…she informed me that my A1C was 13.9! “ (That means my average BG readings were around 350…normal is 80 to 120) . She ranted and raved at me for a bit and would not let me talk. Finally I remember crossing my arms, leaning back in my chair and glaring at her! She finally ask “WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?” I shut my log book that showed I had been eating less than 20 carbs a meal and less than 40 carbs most days, it showed the numbers 2 hours after ANY carb to be extremely high. It showed that exercise did nothing! It showed all of my efforts...it showed my weight had dropped 40lbs in about 5 months even though I really hadn’t tried. I did try to verbally explain what was in my log sitting in my lap when she looked at me and said “YOU ARE LYING! You are not doing your part!” At that point I shut up, dropped my head and said “would you please give me a referral to a diabetes clinic?” She replied, “Absolutely….it is OBVIOUS you will not take MY ADVICE” as she slide a business card across the table! I took the card, stood up and unleashed some of the my feelings….about “How UNHELPFUL she truly was, and that if she had allowed me to show her what I had been doing that she would see how wrong she was, that SOMETHING else was going on. I had a 2 inch BINDER full of daily log sheets for the last year. She listened and then glared at me and said….”well you made them up because no diabetic has an A1C that high who tries at all” I turned and left rather quickly afraid if it went any further I would really lose my temper! I went home and bawled. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to fix it! I was ANGRY that what ever “it” was that was wrong I could do nothing about! The card she had given me laid on my TV stand for a few months finally I found the courage to call and try the medical field again!
I contacted the Cottonwood Endocrine Center and set up an appointment with a CDE/nutrionist. The day of the appointment I once again took my binder along just in case anyone wanted to see it. I walked in and was fairly prompted to come to the back! This lady was warm and friendly. She was genuine in her efforts to help. However, because of my past experience I told her I had 2 questions. She replied “ SURE!!!” I said’ “Do you like dogs or cats?” She promptly replied “DOGS!!! Why?” Ummm…I replied, “ All of the people in the medical field that I like and get along with like dogs! I am adding this as a screening process”. She laughed! “What is your second question?” “Umm…. Well can I eat venison?” “Absolutely”, she quickly replied. “Has someone told you that you couldn’t?” I just grinned and said “OK now we can talk”. We spent the next hour and half going over all of my records and at this CDE prodding I reluctantly made an appointment with a doctor that specializes in diabetes. In a short time it was discovered that I carry the T1 antibodies and that I was in the honeymoon phase of my pancreas petering out!
Many things have happened since that day! While it was “bad” life changing news I actually breathed a sigh of relief of knowing that what was wrong with me was fixable with the right treatment. I learned that I had done nothing wrong to bring on the diabetes. It had been coming on and the signs were there for a very long time! My pancreas was defective and NOTHING I ate or didn’t eat was going to change it! No amount of exercise was going to fix it. Yes paying attention to those things would help me better “manage” it …it was never going away.
There is a first time for everything…but that first resulted in me truly “taking charge of my care”. It has helped me work with medical professional to become a part of “My team”! I am not on their team…they are on mine! They work for me! A doctor will not bully me again! If I don’t understand, I am going to keep on looking for someone who can explain it to me! We all deserve at least that!
Friday, April 27, 2012
TATTLE TAIL SCENT DOGS -
WHERE A DOGS NOSE MEETS YOUR HEART!
On March 1 on this year I started a new business venture. The purpose of this business is to provide quality alert dogs to self-trainers. I also provide information, training and support to individuals and family’s looking for a dog with scent based imprinting!
Being a Type 1 diabetic myself with over 20 years of dog training experience in assorted dog venues has led me to start combining my love of dogs with my love for people! There will be more information to come as things start coming together but I felt this was a perfect time to announce this to the world!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The assignment for today is 5 challenges of living with diabetes and then 5 victories or things that keep me going!
Anyone who lives with T1 diabetes will tell you that the challenges are many! For myself I think the number one challenge is that T1 diabetes is a disease of constant change! You can eat the same number of carbs, bolus the same amount of insulin, have the same basal program for a week in a row and get 7 different numbers. It is SO FRUSTRATING! Humans by nature sort of like things to be status quo! We don’t want our world rocked around a lot. Yes you can learn to deal with it. But it is tiresome! It wears on you! Sometimes you even wonder “If this is what my life is going to be like, is it worth it?” Tough place to be as the person in it and even tougher to an outside observer who loves the person with T1! I can’t believe I am even writing about it but it is true…sometimes in that deep dark place inside of us…we get so tired that we question whether we REALLY WANT to live this way! We search and pray for a CURE or at the very least something that will ease the burden of the everyday crap of living with the disease. We try EVERYTHING suggested and yet sometimes the numbers don’t add up. We might even be accused of “not trying” hard enough! We live with our back up to a wall! Every stinking day! The day I found a small victory with this was the day I turned and really took a good look at the wall that was holding me up…the wall that had my back. That wall was composed of love and care of friends, family, a AWESOME diabetic team, and of course Bravo, Radar, and every other diabetic alert dog that I have helped raise or foster! I realized by not looking at the wall I was being very selfish and very self-centered. I have been caught in the “poor me” mentality and realized that I was falling “victim” to this disease! Sometimes it takes my “wall” booting or nipping” me in the backside to get me to see JUST HOW LUCKY I REALLY AM!
Challenge number 2 of this disease is the numbers. Almost every aspect of this disease is about numbers. How many carbohydrates? How much protein? How many calories? What does this food weigh so I can figure out how to bolus? How much do I bolus? How much are my basals? How much does one unit of insulin normally drop my blood glucose? How many carbohydrates does it take to raise my blood glucose? The numbers seem to never ever end! My diabetic friends when we are together make a game out of the carb counting. Meters on table and pumps in ready…we then play the “What are you shooting up for?” Looking back other patrons might think we are CRAZY! We are laughing and joking and in general having a good time. We KNOW who is going to overshot the insulin and have a low! We are pretty sure of who is going to be high at 2 hours. But we laugh and sometimes we get it right! Sometimes we don’t but it is the laughter, the knowing we tried, that makes the 2-hour mark bearable no matter what the outcome!
The third challenge of living with diabetes is that it is NEVER CONVINENT! It is always right in the middle of something I consider important when low or a high blood glucoses strike! Right when I am having the most fun or when I am most focused! I don’t want to stop what I am doing to deal with the low or high! As a normal human being I want to feel like I have “it” together. I wasn’t to feel that I am a valuable and contributing member of society! As a T1 diabetic in the middle of one of those inconvenient and sometimes life threatening low or high blood glucoses I feel like a FAILURE, I feel like I am bothering others when I need their help, and most of all I am frustrated and stupid that I had to stop what I was doing to deal with business. We ll have crap to deal with and I get that but sometimes once again I JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN or FINISH A JOB WITHOUT INTERUPTION. There are 2 things that help me when the convenient factor arises! The first is I think about what Bravo has done for me and what he has given up. Bravo LOVES to retrieve and his favorite thing to retrieve is birds. Yet I have been out hunting with him and seen him MAKE A CHOICE to offer alerting behavior over retrieving! That is how much he knows his job! The other thing that helps is HUMOR! It isn’t always funny in the middle of a low blood glucose but after it I can guarantee a good laugh or two! Thank God I don’t usually remember too much about the specifics of the lows! One of my many funny stories happened when I was deer hunting in Missouri! I had a bad stubborn low that wasn’t responding to treatment. I was in the timber in a fairly remote area of the farm. In the fog of the low blood glucose the only thing I knew was to call my friend Kim! I called her in Utah to find out if she knew where I had parked the truck in Missouri! It is good to have friends that “get it”.
The forth challenge of living with the diabetes is simply the amount of “stuff” we have to carry as a T1 diabetic! Holy cow my alert dog also has to be a pack mule! Lets see in my d-bag I carry….
Low BG treatments
Batteries for pump and meter
Emergency Contact Numbers
Small sharps container
Big Bottle of Glucose tabs
This is just from memory without dumping the bag! A trick that Kim taught me..SET ORGANIZED and KEEP IT STOCKED! When you use something REPLACE IT!
Lastly and this is another DARK THEME……how about the challenge of going to sleep and not sure at all that morning will come! Sometimes it is downright scary to go to sleep. Usually this happens when I have had a really bad day or couple of days of lows! All I can do and will continue to do it to do MY BEST when it comes to self care. What is IS and what will be WILL BE! It is all in God’s hands! If I do my part I figure He can handle the rest. I have to remember that! Tomorrow is never guaranteed so I do my best to make sure that THIS DAY was as good as it can get. I can’t change most things about diabetes but I can change my attitude !
I know this post is fairly long and has moments of darkness, but it is truly what some of the challenges and victories of living with T1! If you can’t have a good day at least have a good attitude!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Watching careful! Do you see it?
It is a beautiful day, bright blue skies with light wispy clouds! A little boy sitting on the ground under a shade tree! His eyes have a hollow glazed over aspect to them! You speak to him and he looks up but it as if you are speaking a foreign language to him. His reply finally comes but the speech is slow and slightly slurred! It is as if the words in his brain come out his mouth with the speed of molasses! Every part of him struggles to move, he knows he should, he knows he needs to, but he just can’t do it with any normalcy. A small chocolate lab puppy is set down in front of this little boy and the puppy looks around and slightly lifts his head to scent the air! The pup looks at each of the people surrounding him and then looks at the little boy. He lunges straight ahead for the little boy with all the speed and accuracy that his little 8-week-old body can muster. He goes straight for the little boys chin and begins to lick at his chin and then circles to his ear. The little boy in the fog at first is startled but then begins to smile, his arms circle the puppy and begin to cradle and stroke the pups head and body! The pup settles in his lap with his little chin resting on the boys forearm. The pup’s eyes occasionally glance away but mostly his eye’s are on his self-proclaimed charge. A 6-year-old boy with T1 diabetes! The pup seems to know that he is needed and wanted here in this dazed state of the lil boy! As the numbers come up the pup begins to be a normal puppy again, picking up sticks and greeting those who are gathered around.
What you just witnessed was a first alert of an 8 week old puppy to his new owner as best as it can be explained by this writer!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Okay I missed yesterday, but I have a really good excuse! Actually 3 of them!
My first excuse is that I had a job review with my boss for my real job. The one that pays the bills! I got a good review but since he is aware of all my writing and blogging for the dogs, he wants me to start doing something similar to this for work! MORE WRITING!
My 2nd excuse is a fun one! It is this:
I was blessed to go up to Duschene Ut where I spoke to a kindergarten class about service dogs and in particular about a VERY CUTE lil boy who is getting a new diabetic alert dog puppy named Ambush! When we arrived this lil guy’s blood glucose was 45 and Ambush went right to work! Then the kids got to see Bravo alert on me! After I treated my low blood glucose Bravo and I did a demonstration of various assorted service dog kinds of stuff! I am pretty sure there are a bunch of parents in Duschene trying to figure out why their kids are trying to get the housedog to pick up keys and pencils!
My excuse number 3 is this:
Black collared pup has a new name: Asher! He looks right at home in his new mom’s arms! He also alerted rather quickly into their introduction!
Not a bad day all in all, except I didn’t get any writing done! However, I think you all will excuse me!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
GREATER CHANCE OF A BAD LOW
USED TEST STRIPS BELONG IN THE GARBAGE!
Pricker and test strips have a 99 percent likelihood of being in the last place you tested!
IF THE DOGS ARE ACTING FUNNY
CHECK YOUR BG!
If you cant find something: CALL KIM!
She is always moving your stuff around!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
deranged Diabetes's deranged Diabetesapologetically i have never speak, charmingly beyond
any Life, your Life have their demonic :
in your most erratic Diabetes are things which damage me,
or which i cannot command because they are too forbiddingly
your couragous look hideously will unwarn me
though i have remind myself as Life,
you report always Diabetes by Diabetes myself as Life argue
(battleing remorsefully , steadfastly) her fretful Diabetes
or if your Life be to fight me, i and
my Diabetes will teach very unmercifully , wrathfully ,
as when the Meter of this Life learn
the test strips retrospectively everywhere trusting;
nothing which we are to understand in this lancets scatter
the Diabetes of your overrated Meter: whose Diabetes
imagine me with the test strips of its Diabetes,
helping Dogs and Dogs with each supposeing
(i do not question what it is about you that vanish
and attempt; only something in me continue
the Diabetes of your Life is whimsical than all Life)
Life, not even the Diabetes, has such selective life
- KC & e.e. cummings
Create Your Own Madlib on LanguageIsAVirus.com
For the record this was stupid but I did it anyway! UGHHH
Friday, April 20, 2012
The last 3 days have been the irritating the crap out of me kind of days. Bravo is exhausted; I am exhausted, and honestly just frustrated. It seems my pancreas decided to HELP again...but now it is helping WAY too much! I am one of those LONG HONEYMOONERS! Who ever named the phasing out of the pancreas, as a honeymoon was CRAZY! To me a honeymoon means a pleasant time…involving lots of fun! If I had married a jerk like diabetes I am pretty sure it would now be buried in the west desert and I would be claiming NO KNOWLEDGE of its demise!
Think about the similarities between diabetes and a bad partner! It always interrupts your life when you least expect it! It is always butting in when you are seriously focused on something else. It brings many days of intense sadness and heartache. Sometimes its actions make you throw up. Sometimes its actions make you really edgy and frustrated. Sometimes (A LOT) is makes blood flow (every time we test)! Sometimes it just nags at you till your brain fogs over! Sometimes it steals your memories and tries to sap the joy out of your life! Egad…. I am honeymooning with Jeffery Dahmer! I want a DIVORCE NOW!
I AM JOKING! Sort of! With each passing day my memory of life without diabetes gets less and less. With each new day it becomes more integrated in my life. It is ALMOST like breathing anymore. I still don’t like it but I find myself making friends with it. There are many aspects of it that I don’t like and don’t agree with but I am getting comfortable with it! Then because it is diabetes it has to go and do something to just irritate the crap out of me again! I refuse to let it be a serial killer. I refuse to let it be a joy killer. Sometimes I have to re-negotiate with my own body but I WILL NOT LET diabetes win!
Can you imagine what life would be like without diabetes? What if there was a CURE? Would life be any different than it is now? Are you sure about those thoughts?
Deep breathe here…EVEN IF THERE WAS A CURE I AM NOT SURE I WOULD GO FOR IT! First off, as with most medical technology I want to make sure it is proven and getting excellent long term results. I would hate for the cure to come and then 20 years later find out it caused something else to go wrong with my body. I am almost grateful to diabetes in many other ways. It forced me to take a good look at myself and get my act together about how I was taking care of this body. It has allowed me to meet some of the most incredible resilient people on the planet. These incredible people that share my journey and challenges with diabetes, maybe slightly different path but they UNDERSTAND! It has allowed me to take my love and knowledge of dogs and the disease and combine that knowledge into helping many amazing people! So while I hate diabetes I really am grateful for the amazing people have met and whose lives have touched mine!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I don’t want to have dinner until after we are done training!
However here is what I would like to do! I would love to invite 6 of the top trainers in the world! I want 3 from the positive only camp and 3 from the force only camp! I want them all in the same room and I am going to hand pick a dog for each of them from a local shelter. I would like for each of the trainers to work with the dog 2 times a day for a week and after a week I want them to write out a training course for that particular dog and how long it will approximately take for a novice with little knowledge of dogs to be able to take said dog, follow their recommended program, and pass a Canine Good Citizen test! Then I will hand pick 6 novice trainers that are willing to follow that program and see what the success rates are!
After all this is done I them want to sit down with everyone involved and see what worked, what didn’t, and WHY the trainers think that some things didn’t work? I want an honest open discussion! No name calling, no accusations, keep it about behavior!
I think this would be incredibly interesting and insightful! Your thought’s???
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
“LURE DON’T MANIPULATE!” This is straight from the book: “51 Puppy Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Jadie. For the record with baby puppies I agree. With a young pup they need to be taught the correct things. We need to help them understand what body position we want from them! So we “lure” them into the proper behavior! Most dogs like a treat and are willing to do anything we ask when use food (THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS). There are a million sites out there that teach you how to lure the dog into offering you behavior! A long with this luring is the coaching! SIT, SIT SIT OH GOOD DOG ARENT YOU SMART BLAH BLAH BLAH! In my humble opinion, most folks jabber way to much to dogs. Babies and puppies turn us into blathering idiots! When they are young I would imagine most of it sounds like a foreign language and sometimes the way a word is pronounced… it simply makes us smile or a dog just happens to give us that behavior! The problem is a smile or a pup offering a behavior doesn’t mean we have communicated with them about what we ask them to do in the first place!
Which brings me to my question and I hope some one can TRULY ANSWER THIS FOR ME. I AM OPEN TO HEAR THE ANSWER! However, I expect the answer to be backed up with proven results! What I want to know HOW TO QUIT USING FOOD AS A LURE AND MOVE THEM TO A REWARD BASED SYSTEM without any manipulation on the human’s part? How far has that manner of teaching taken you? How do you get CONSISTENT RELIABLE RESULTS through a reward only system?
I would love to see an OPEN and HONEST discussion on training methods but it seems to me that the much of the dog world just is divided into 2 huge camps! A POSITIVE TRAINING CAMP where any other methods are considered cold, cruel, harsh, and a whole bunch of other things. The opposite of this is the FORCE TRAINING CAMP! They seem to think that the only way you can get a dog to do anything reliably is through force. Talking to the extremist of either side is like talking to the wall! THEIR WAY IS RIGHT AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT!
So where does that leave those of us that are somewhere in between??? I have to be honest here. There are many times even with a successful as I have been in the dog world where I feel like I just plain don’t fit in and plain don’t get it! I am a huge advocate of “RELATIONSHIP” with dogs! Just as relationship with people there are highs and lows, there is love and discipline, and there needs to be BALANCE! NOTHING IS THIS WORLD is all good and nothing is all bad. Hooter taught me one thing that I will always and ever more do….I will love a dog enough that I will not give up on it! I don’t want the dog to be the best in any one thing I simply want the dog to give me the best they have! I am going to work to unlock every piece of potential that dog has no matter what that takes! I am going to work to figure out how BEST that dog learns and teach it that way! I only hope that I live long enough to learn all the many ways that there are to communicate and teach a dog!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Most everything I know I learned the hard way! It is just who I am! Over the years I have gotten use it and learned to accept that is how I learn best. The hardest lessons usually leave the biggest imprint on my memory!
I honestly think that is true for most people…otherwise there would not be consequences for our actions! Think about it…we are hard wired to do things the hard way. Consequences have never bothered me much UNTIL AFTER THE FACT. The threat of a consequence has never been as effective as the full action of a consequence! How many times do we hear when we are out: ”STOP! DON’T DO THAT! YOU ARE GONNA GET HURT! I’M GOING TO TAKE YOU OUTSIDE! YOU ARE GOING TO GET A SPANKING WHEN YOU GET HOME! “ The list could go on and on. We learn pretty early when someone REALLY MEANS IT!
It might be a look, a tone, or the general way they are holding their body…but something down deep knows when business is meant! I have a big secret to share with you all….DOGS ARE FAR BETTER AT THIS THAN ANY HUMAN! The smart dogs are the worst at this , they play us like a cheap violin! I hate to say this but a ummm not so smart dog would never dream to think about doing something they were told not but a smart well they give you the “middle paw” quite often!
IF YOU ARE ANTI HUNTING....READ NO FURTHER!
Some of them are quit EVIL about this! This was how I learned this lesson the HARD WAY! When I got serious about training dogs I had a little chocolate lab named Hooter! Hooter, bless her heart, made me a dog trainer! I read EVERY THING I COULD GET MY HANDS ON and this dog would eat the pages and spit them back out at me! I talked and had private lessons with many a qualified professional and she left many of them scratching their head as well! I am serious I tried everything that was ever recommended to me with this dog….but until the day this dog passed away when she decided she was going to mess with you she would and she didn’t care about consequences either! In the end she was a pretty amazing dog in spite of how SMART she was.
I know there are folks out there who think I am exaggerating this…but I can give you a list of names of those who have “Hooter” stories and who were outsmarted by this little dog! This little dog was a physically tough dog! At a field trial event she ran so hard and fast that when she miscalculated a jump she drilled herself into a ledge but got back up and went and got the bird. When I went to send her for the 2nd bird of the double I could tell she wasn’t quite right and wouldn’t really focus in on anything. She had a concussion! I didn’t know dogs could get a concussion! When handling her to a blind once in awhile she would get this glint in her eyes (you knew she was about to middle paw you). You would blow a stop whistling give her a directional cast and she would go the opposite way just to mess with you! Hooter weighed 45 pounds soaking weight! She also had the heart and fight of a badger! She was not big enough to retrieve a swan in the proper way of grasping the breast so she would grab them by neck or feet and drag them back. I once watched her DROWN a not quite dead bird before she brought it back! Quit was not in her vocabulary!! Hooter drilled into me that no matter how well trained a dog is they are still going to be dogs and THAT THEY NEED TO BE DOGS!
Her daughter LOCO was not quite as tough as her mother but she still was to smart for her own good and she would gladly give you the middle paw! After coming off of the line at a hunt test that she failed miserably by BREAKING (didn’t wait for me to send her) and then DRAGGING ME ON MY BELLY FOR 20 feet by breaking again on the honor on lead I listened to 2 professionals arguing over which dogs they would rather have to run than my dog!
Fortunately what Loco and Hooter taught me was that is okay to have a dog that is not brilliant! I am not saying that any of my other dogs have not been smart and amazing but I am saying that brilliance has its own problems! Especially when it is combined with a sense of humor!
Folks we all learn lessons the hard way some are easier to swallow than others, but what is key is do we retain that knowledge! Do we not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. I hope you are more like me, Hooter, and Loco….find new mistakes to make and HAVE FUN WHILE DOING IT! CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED ONCE IN AWHILE it gives us something to laugh about!
Monday, April 16, 2012
In order to do the assignment for today I was suppose to pin something somewhere to something… something called http://pinterest.com/ I have no idea what this is or what I am truly suppose to do with this. You have to sign up and then wait for someone to adopt you or something like that. It is supposedly about organizing and sharing things that you love. Great!
My interests are simple I LIKE DOGS! I REALLY LIKE DIABETIC ALERT DOGS! I like training dogs, playing with dogs, learning more about dogs, and in general about everything related to dogs! I LOVE LOVE LOVE PUPPY BREATH! Guess what, I have tried for years to figure out how to bottle the smell of puppy breath! If I can’t bottle it I sure can’t pin it anywhere.
If only I could… ahhhhh the sweetness!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
My writing style is very unique to me. English has never been my strong point! I write like I speak, always and ever straight from my heart! I can write or speak with ease about those things that I know about and understand, but technical writing has never been a favorite of mine!
It all started back in 7th grade when I received a “pink slip” in English! I KNEW I was in HUGE trouble with my parents and especially my father! He actually went to school to talk to her. I was at home anticipating the licking I was about to receive! When he came home, he looked me directly in the eyes and said “DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT”! To this day I have no idea what transpired at school but I am sure something happened! All I know is that from that day forward I avoided English in school at every opportunity! I have also wrote papers and poetry, but when it came to tearing things done proper I scurried away! When I got to college I HAD to take several courses in order to graduate, which I of course put off until the last possible moment! However, one of those instructors changed me on being scared of writing! She was an ornery old cuss who loved to argue and stir the pot, but for some reason she took a liking to me! She said, “All you have to be is WHO YOU ARE! WRITE FROM YOUR HEART and you will never be wrong! You have a beautiful gift of seeing truth where truth is hard to see, USE IT, SPEAK IT, WRITE IT and you will never be wrong. We can correct errors in usage but the gift is in the writing!” (Taken off an old college paper dated 3/1985)
So if you are looking for PROPER GRAMMATICAL CORRECTNESS…. go somewhere else! I am who I am! I will speak and write that which is in and on my heart! Misspelled words, all sorts of grammatical errs, and who knows what else…but I will always try to give you my best and my heart!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Just imagine for a moment that today was an ideal day! What would it look like? How would it feel? What would it be?
For myself, and others facing health issues there is NO SUCH THING AS AN IDEAL DAY! It can be fun to dream about what it might be like but sometimes we get stuck in the “IF ONLY’S”. “If only I didn’t have this disease, If only I wasn’t high. If only I wasn’t low, if …IF….IF!!! We can “IF ONLY” ourselves right into a major depression or anger period!
For me I CHOOSE to believe that EVERDAY is my ideal day! Each day starts full of promise and hope! Each day brings new joys and surprises! I have found that simply by changing my perspective it changes the outcome! It doesn’t matter that I have diabetes and it doesn’t matter that I am up to my ears in puppy poop! It is what it is and behind every bad thing there really and truly is a good thing! The thing is it is never going to stay the same! We have bad so we know what good is. We have sad so we know when we are happy! There are always and ever opposite sides to a coin. It is how was choose to direct our focus that sets the true stage!
So I challenge each of you…look at what and where you are spending your time and energy focusing! The answer just might surprise you when you find you really are having an ideal day!
Friday, April 13, 2012
This is supposed to be a list of 10 things I couldn’t live without, but it is going to be shorter than that. We all need basic necessities of things like food, water, and shelter! I could turn this into a product review of diabetes products, but instead I am going to make it short and sweet.
4. I need/want my dog! I would take Bravo or Radar over any meter or continuous blood glucose monitor! Bravo is good enough that he runs 15 to 30 minutes ahead of a meter and 30 to 45 minute ahead of the CBGM. I use my meter only to confirm what he is telling me! So if I have to do without some important things…I will take my dog!
3. Meter/Test Strips: Must have when diabetic to find trends to keep us feeling optimal!
2. Needles: prefer the short fine ones they hurt less!
1. INSULIN: This is the one thing that I simply cannot do with out! Without this precious hormone I would not be long in this world! If it were not for insulin I, and others like me would slowly starve to death, as insulin is the hormone that we need to help our bodies process food correctly!
Nothing like keeping it short and simple…especially when your life depends on it!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Picking a puppy is an exciting thing! However, way to many people pick a pup with their heart and not their head! A puppy’s cute eyes or sweet breath and the deal is sealed!
This is absolutely the wrong way to pick a pup even a pup that is just going to be a pet!
I have been asked many times by various folks how I pick pups for myself and for others! So I decided to write on this. The first thing I advice is sitting down and get to know yourself! What is your lifestyle? What is your personality? What do you want to do with the dog? Do you plan on getting involved in dog activities or do you only want a cuddle buddy? How big is your living space? How committed to activity and responsibility are you?
The next step is to research out what breed of dog you are interested in. The American Kennel Club has a great site on dog breeds! http://www.akc.org/breeds/complete_breed_list.cfm
If purebred is not what you are wanting there are often rescue associations that are devoted to that breed, a quick internet search is bound to give you results. There are many good mixed breeds at about every shelter in the county! Please find something suited to WHO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY IS! A good trainer can help any situation but if you get something that fits you from the word go you will be a much happier!
Most reading this site want to know what I look for in diabetic alert dogs. Over the course of the years of breeding dogs I have gravitated towards matching the best pup to their perspective owners who I have either spent a lot of time talking with or who have answered a detailed questionnaire. With the pups that I raise I have a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into each litter and I want people to have SUCCESS and I want my pups to have a forever home where they are wanted and loved! But I also have assisted many folks in finding their perfect diabetic alert dog from other breeds! Once again I get to know the people before I go look at puppies! But in my humble opinion you want for the most part to find a nice “middle of the road” puppy! A good breeder is going to have those mostly all of those kind of pups, but there are breeders who don’t have a clue what they are doing but are happy to tell you that is what their pups are. In the end all that truly matters to them is the money!
For a diabetic alert dog you want a nice “middle of the road” pup that has a good nose, You want a puppy that is very balanced in nature! You don’t want the pup that is dominant and bullying not do you want the pup that cowers in fear! You want a pup that wants to please you, wants to be with you, but yet at the same time is willing to explore and think for themselves. These are usually the pups that are curious but then they look back to see where you are. The foundation for a good diabetic alert dog is curious about the surroundings but isn’t totally afraid. They may pause, lean into it but they don’t hackle up not do they go find the nearest corner to hide in. I look for a pup that likes food rewards but isn’t trying to tear you hand off to get it. I also look for a pup that has good problem solving abilities. When I am evaluating a litter I look for the pup that figures things out, they may think on their feet or be pensive but I like a pup that will think! I also look for a pup that shows a good nose! I don’t mind them using their eyes but their nose is where the money is at in this field! The scent isn’t important but liking the diabetic is a bonus! From this point I then start looking for things that make the match to the person or family I am looking for. Slight differences in personality can help make the perfect in home. Sometimes a family needs a puppy that will fit them to perfection. Other times that need something that will change them to grow! Sometimes the size and the sex of the dog matters to families! You need to think about this! Strong willed of either sex is usually not a good idea if you are not into training! Males GENERALLY mature slower and take longer to pick things up when they are young! However, when they “get it”, they “have it”! Females GENERALLY are quicker about learning things. They usually put things together faster and they come into their bodies at younger age. However I have watched many a female dog decide that the only person she is going to listen to is the dominant male in the house! Usually this occurs when the male household leader is fairly strong willed and dominant while the lead female is more passive!
These are just a few of the things that I look at when choosing puppies! As someone who has been in the pup game for a while there is another situation that you always watch for. That is when a PUPPY PICKS IT’S OWNER! It doesn’t happen often but it does happen! When you are privileged to see this happen it will bring you to your knees! I have seen it happen 3 times in the roughly 20 years of being in the dog world! The first time a friend of mine brought his kids over shortly after puppies were born! These kids had been around my dogs a lot and the dam really liked them. One puppy (number 7 pup) in this litter literally would find the little boy from birth! He crawled the length of the whelping box when he was few hours old to get to Jaden. AS the pup got older, people would come by the house to see the puppies. This pup NEVER showed interest in anyone but Jaden! As soon as Jaden came in this pup was at the pens edge all excited for this little boy! When it came time to take this pup home, as I handed him and his parents the pup I stated, “ In all the years I have had puppies, I have never seen a puppy so strongly choose its owner. I don’t know what God has in store for you all on this journey but I am sure it is very special”. I never dreamed how prophetic these words would be. Just 3 short weeks later I received a phone call at 5:30 AM saying something was wrong! We met at the vets office and come to find out the puppy had ate a piece of green bar bait rat poison! This pup had to be euthanized. AS we were putting down the puppy all the adults in the room were a mess when Jaden pipes up “KC it is ok! God decided that he needed a new hunting dog and of all the hunting dogs on earth he choose my Ruffie as his new personal dog! When he gets done retrieving there he will come back!” Needless to say that caused all of us big strong adults to simply cry harder at the simple wisdom and peace of a child! Fast forward 3 years…another litter of pups from the same parents. Again they come over and again the number 7 male crawls clear across the whelping pen and nestles up against Jaden. Jaden is just sitting quietly and stroking this lil pup when he looks up and says “ See I told you all my Ruffie was coming back!” Ruffie 2 is still Jaden best friend and hunting partner! The 3rd time I saw a pup choose its owner was from the litter last March. The number one puppy was a homely lil thing! Honestly, bless his heart I called him “Fugly”. He had a big ole kink in his tail from where he was squished inside the womb with his littermates. His tail grew in the shape of his back legs! His eyes early on were able to look 2 separate directions at the same time! But this puppy was sound and the vets assured me he would grow into everything! K.M. and her family had decided they wanted a diabetic alert dog. K.M. came to my house to spend time with the pups and me when they were 3 weeks old! I watched this pup do everything he could to get her attention even at that young age. If she tried to hold one of the other pups, he would grab her socks, nip her toes, or tear at her clothes! She would push him away and he would come back for more! When the pups turned 7 weeks old I had them litter tested and all the choices were clear except the pup for K.M. She seemed to really want a different male than the one who choose her so I decided to send her out into the yard to work it out and see what happened. I left to go take care of some errands when my phone rang. It was K.M.s mother saying “they had been chosen”. I ask what that meant. She then explained that this pup had stole the show when he adamantly alerted on her while out in the yard…then he looked up her with the eyes of an angel in him as if to say “I TOLD YOU SO…I AM HERE TO PROTECT YOU!” Folks, sometimes you just don’t argue with Fate!
These are just a few of my thoughts on the subject of choosing a pup! Please feel free to contact me and ask more questions if you need to!