Sugar Sniffing Dogs / Scent Training, and Obedience    


Cody and Nash

Below is a series of text messages sent to one of our trainers, Janalee.  Cody is a 3rd grader, and Nash, his Diabetic Alert Dog, goes to school with him every day.  To give Nash a bit of a break during the school day, he stays in a crate by Cody’s desk in his classroom until he returns from lunch: 

"Kudos to Nash today.  He was alone in the crate while Cody was at lunch.  The teacher across the hall said he started going crazy, trying to get out of his crate, barking incessantly.  The teacher came to Cody’s room and tried to calm him, but it didn’t work.  Ended up that a little boy across the hall that was diagnosed recently had fallen to 40.  The teacher said that when they finally got the boy to the nurse’s office, Nash settled right back down again.”  “Everyone was amazed that Nash picked up on it from across the hall!"

The following day, the following text from Stephanie was sent: 

"Same scenario today.  The boy fell to 67.  Nash alerted.  Now they’re convinced!" "…can’t imagine life without him!"

There are several diabetic children in Cody’s school.  Nash already has confirmed low alerts on other children besides his handler, Cody.  Cody’s community pitched in to help buy Nash.  Now, Nash is returning the favor to his new community. 

Dan and Hank

Description: Dan Sise.jpgHello! My name is Dan. In 1965, on April Fools Day, I was diagnosed with diabetes. 16 years ago, my sister gave me one of her kidneys. I am still blessed to say it’s still working 100%! Until a few years ago I could sense my insulin reactions. Then due to all of the medicines I take, they have suppressed my ability to feel the onset of a reaction.

This was scary living alone, because I have had to call 911 to save me several times over the years. My sister told me that she heard that special dogs could sense people’s insulin reactions. She recommended Alert Service Dogs, Inc., so I checked them out right away.  After what seemed like forever, I finally met Hank! In only three months he has become my best friend. I take him everywhere from 2000 mile airplane trips, to the food market! Unfortunately because he is SO good looking, and has a face you could fall in love with, everyone wants to pet him... but they can't. He is so special!

Over the 3 months time he has "alerted" 10 - 15 times, warning me of impending insulin reactions! It's truly amazing! As with most pups they all have their own personalities, and I am blessed with his. We are with each other 24/7. I bring him to work, and everyone there understands why I need him by my side.

Saying he is the best thing since sliced bread wouldn't do him justice. I love him like a friend, and so appreciate him for all he does for me. The word ‘Appreciate’ does not begin to say how I feel about what Alert Service Dogs, Inc. has done for me! Neither does the word ‘Thanks’!

Winter and Jazz

Description: DSC07734.JPGI was diagnosed with diabetes when I was a kid. Now, 41 years later, I realize that I don't have the same sensitivity I had when I was younger to blood sugar drops and spikes. During the day, I don't realize that my sugar is dropping, or going up, until it hits an extreme. About 8 years ago, I stopped waking up at night when my blood sugar dropped, and have gone into 3 hypoglycemic comas. My husband woke up in time to call 911 and get me the help that saved my life, but all three comas were really close calls.

When I was younger, I could tell my sugar was dropping by the time I hit 80, now I don't feel anything until I hit the low 40's, or lower. The same holds true for sugar highs; when I was younger, I could tell my sugar was going up when I reach 190 - 200, now I don't feel anything until I hit 400 or higher.

After my third hypoglycemic coma, a friend told me she had seen a TV program about dogs that detect blood sugar changes in diabetics. My husband & I agreed that I needed a dog. We found Alert Service Dogs, Inc., and started the process. I will admit that I was nervous.  I didn't really know what to expect, wondered if the dog would really help me, and wondered what it would be like to take a dog everywhere I went.

They brought Jazz to me on May 23, 2010. They worked with me, teaching me the commands I would need and showing me how to recognize an alert from Jazz.
Jazz has changed my life. She is absolutely amazing! She began her alerts immediately, and also began alerting on my high blood sugars after only 4 days. She alerts on my sugar changes BEFORE they become too severe in either direction. In the 2 years I've had Jazz, her alerts have become better and better in that she is tightening my control. She has alerted me several times during the night preventing another coma.

She also alerts me several times each day, preventing my sugar from going down too low or up too high, and improving my A1C from 9.4% to 7.8% and now to 6.7%. I take Jazz everywhere I go, including Disneyland, kayaking, swimming, church, out to dinner, the show, work and even flying out of state for family visits. Now, I can't imagine my life without her. Not only does Jazz take care of me in an amazing way, she is a great companion, and gives my family a peace as well, knowing that she is here looking after me when they are not.

I am so very grateful to ASD, Inc., and the staff because now my life really is healthier. Now I'm confident that I will grow old with my husband, have good quality of life, and watch and play with my grandchildren as they grow up. That's HUGE!