Richard - After 27 years with diabetes I teamed up with Norm, my hypoglycemia alert dog. While his low BG alerting provides me with another layer of safety, the "softer" aspects of his service truly comfort me.
Norm is a handsome 55-pound male Yellow Labrador Retriever. His coat is as soft as it looks!
I live alone. Without another person in the house to help me when needed, I pretty much long ago accepted the fact that I was alone in this war with D. Once paired with Norm I realized just how vulnerable I have always felt; I simply denied that vulnerability because there was nothing I could do about it.
Norm has had a great influence on brightening my disposition. I've never owned a dog before and I find myself during part of every day in conversation with Norm. I know he doesn't understand my words but he does get the emotional gist of things.
I know that one of the most important ongoing conversations that people conduct is the one they have with themselves everyday. Most of us don't vocalize these conversations, of course. I find that having a dog prompts me to vocalize ideas that would never otherwise be heard. In the end I find that my emotional and mental health has improved while living with Norm.
And it doesn't hurt that he can wake me up, like he did at 1:30 this morning, to get me to check my sugar. I was at 73 and dropping. Norm got his favorite treat -- peanut butter. It was a lip smacking good time!
If there's anyone out there wondering about getting a hypoglycemia alert dog, I for one give it a resounding thumbs up!
This is Norm giving me an alert. The item he has in his mouth is called a bringsel. It's just a cloth covered tube about six inches long that dangles from his neck. When he smells a low he puts it in his mouth and gets my attention. If he's right he gets a treat.