Looks like discussions are a bit old here, so not sure if anyone is using this group ... but thought I'd pipe in and introduce my little amazing Mazie. :)
Maizie is a chocolate and tan miniature smooth Dachshund and she's just over six yrs old. She was given to me as a gift from a dear breeder friend when she was just five months old. I traveled from NY to TX to get her and of course fell in love with her immediately.
Within a couple weeks of bringing Maizie home she began waking me up in the night alerting my bg was low. I didn't realize that was what she was doing at first... took several alerts over a few weeks before I connected it all.
I've had T1 since 10/72, used multiple injections for many years until I started pump therapy in the early '90s. Then several years ago I began experiencing hypo unawareness, which was pretty scary to deal with.
By the time Maizie started alerting I had all but lost all ability to feel my lows. She'd wake me up at night and I'd think she just had to go out to potty... but soon as I stood up I'd get that whoozy feeling. Would test my bg and it would be low. As I said, after a few weeks I finally realized she was in fact alerting to the lows.
She alerted during the day too, but in most cases in the beginning, again, I didn't connect her behavior with my low sugar. Once I realized what she was doing at night, I realized she was alerting during the day as well.
She also alerts to my highs, but I can still feel when I'm high so I didn't make a big fuss over those alerts in the beginning. When I decided to shape and hone Maizie's alerting behavior, I figured it'd be best to encourage and reward the alerts to the highs as well, just to keep her sharp in both situations.
She has been extremely accurate with the highs as well as the lows for the last nearly six yrs. I worked with her for her first year and a couple of months past that on public access training, exposure work and socialization... all crucial in preparing any type of SD for public work. Maizie has an outgoing happy-go-lucky personality and took to the training very well. She's pretty unshakable, at ease in every situation I've had her in thus far.
Maizie is young and will be aroun hopefully for many yrs, but I wanted to see if I could train a dog from scratch to do alert work. So a couple yrs ago I started training another of my Dachshunds, Georgie, to alert. It was an amazing process, and he's an awesome alerter, but his alerting is not as accurate as Maizie's natural gift. But, I'm at least confident that I am able to train a dog from scratch. :)
I am also legally blind (have been since birth) and have worked with guide dogs for 27 yrs. At the time I started working Maizie in public, it was quite something to work two SDs at the same time. I had never heard of anyone doing this before, and none of the trainers that I've worked with over the last quarter century ever heard of anyone using two SDs either.
If I had my druthers I'd have a guide dog that is also trained to alert. It's possible, as my third guide dog was a natural alerter... my diabetes wasn't disabling at that time, so I had no desire to use her as a DAD, but she proved it is possible for a dog to do two separate jobs. It's not easy at times working with one dog in public, working with two is certainly not convenient. It's doable, but I wouldn't recommend it. For now, I feel very blessed to have Maizie, and that working her along with a guide dog in the past was successful. I look forward to training with my next guide dog, hopefully in the next couple of months or so.
I loved this message so much! Maizie is an incredible dog. I hope she helps you every time you need her. She is capable of multitasking, which is incredible!!! Do you have a device that reads this reply, and then uses voice to give you the communication?