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Newcomers with alert dogs

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by danismom79, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. danismom79

    danismom79 Approved members

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    I know, I know - not another thread. But this one doesn't really fit into Toni's thread, and the other one is huge!

    First, I was wondering if the newcomers wouldn't mind introducing themselves and telling a little about their kids (dx date, ages, etc.).

    Second, would you mind sharing how you handle school? There was a story not too long ago about a family fighting for their son's right to have his alert dog in school with him. Do your kids bring their dogs to school?
     
  2. Toni

    Toni Banned

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    Hi, I did have a misunderstanding about the 24/7 bonding process these dogs seem to require. It turns out that the young boy in Yonkers is now being home schooled while his parents fight the school system (this is going to take years)...... There were two posters who mentioned their dog does not go to school or work with them and those dogs still alert. The organizations, I believe, before giving you the dog, want you to agree to be with the dogs 24/7. I bet there are people, like my family, who would want the alert dogs, be willing to train them, yet not willing to go EVERYWHERE with the dog, and want to use the dog for home and overnight use. I am going to PM the people who use the dog part time.
     
  3. danismom79

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    Will you let me know if they respond (they seem to have disappeared :confused:)? I was actually surprised to see more than a couple of people with DADs, and I'm still curious about how they handle school, in particular.
     
  4. KatieJane'smom

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    Carla, I'm not sure any of the newbies saw this thread. I know I didn't. Maybe they will see it now.

    I'll try to anwer your question about school but is there something specific you were curious about?

    Katie Jane takes Shots to school everyday. It goes something like this:
    They wake up at about 4:30am, get ready for school, she gets dressed, he eats, potties, and gets dressed. Then it's off to cross country practice at 6:15 which lasts about an hour & a half. Then classes all day. Shots lays down under Katie Jane's feet, or under her chair, under the table at lunchtime. (It's called "under") and he knows to do that when she sits down.

    After school is marching band rehearsal where she tethers him behind the directors stand but where she can still see him. She looks over at him periodically to see if he's alerting or not. Then it's off to play rehearsal where Shots lays under under the seats in the auditorium while Katie Jane is on stage.

    He rides the bus with her to and from football games and other events and then just lays down at her feet on the bleachers.

    Is that what you were asking? Or were you meaning something else?
    I'll post the most recent video here for those that didn't see it. This is was shot at school. He keeps looking back in a couple of shots because he noticed me in the office when they walked by the glass windows.

    http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/74230327.html
     
  5. danismom79

    danismom79 Approved members

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    I guess I was wondering more about people's experiences getting clearance to have the dog at school. I was thinking of that boy's story (Toni says he's being homeschooled now). As hard as it is for a lot of people to get a 504, I'd imagine it might be just as hard, if not harder, to be able to bring a DAD to school.
     
  6. Al Peters

    Al Peters New Member

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    Assistance Dogs for Diabetes

    Hi,
    I am the founder of Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota. I just got a Goggle alert that Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota was mentioned on this list and hoped to clarify a few things, but the original thread, Toni's thread, seems to be locked. Sorry if I am doing this in the wrong place and I would appreciate if this information could somehow be shared with those interested in the other thread, too.

    One of the posts said we were now placing these dogs with children in many states. We have only placed them with adults so far, but are interested in placing them with children in the future, most likely in Minnesota first until we work out any problems with doing this for a child rather than for an adult.

    Contrary to one of the posts, we are not partnered with Dogs for Diabetics in any way. Dog for Diabetics was unwilling to share training information with us when we asked for help a few years ago during the conferences held by Assistance Dogs International (ADI) and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP).

    When we decided to add this service, we spoke with many individuals, organizations and researchers to determine the best way to proceed. Some shared information with us, to varying degrees, like Pawsabilities Unleashed, members of IAADP, and local K-9 drug sniffing trainers, and this helped us develop our training protocol.

    We do provide the dogs and training free of charge and there is a $50 application fee. Each dog costs us an average of $28,000 to produce, and then to support with follow-up training throughout its life. We are supported entirely by private contributions. We have trained 300 assistance dogs of many types and about 10 of these have been Diabetes Assist Dogs. We incorporated in 1987 and are an accredited member of ADI. I suggest your members look for this designation and membership as one means to determine if an organization is credible. There are many little start-up organizations out there promising parents all kinds of things, if they will raise a bunch of money.

    There were questions raised about whether the dogs can alert to highs AND lows. Yes they can and often do, depending on the needs of our clients. However, we are most concerned with detecting lows because of the immediate and potentially disastrous consequences to missing these.

    I hope this information helps. Please feel free to visit our website at www.hsdm.org for more information or call us with specific questions or an applicaton at 612-729-5986 x 157.

    Thanks,

    Al Peters
     
  7. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    Hi - I just happened upon your post and I wonder if I may ask a question.

    I'm a dog person and one of my concerns with these threads is that "alert" dogs are beginning to be presented as something made in China and bought at Wal-Mart. I'm really curious to know how many dogs one would need to weed through before finding one that had the necessary natural ability to begin training, and then how many dogs who have begun training wash out of the program?
     
  8. KatieJane'smom

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  9. MamaC

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  10. KatieJane'smom

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    Okay, then. Really? I think everyone gave a clear representation of the special qualities (we even made a list of them) that these dogs must have. We have said they are not "magic" as was referenced to and not every dog can do this or even WANTS to do this type of work.
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I should have been more clear - I was directing my question to Al Peters.
     
  12. KatieJane'smom

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    Oh, okay. I'll let him know.
     
  13. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    No, that's ok - you don't need to. If he sees it, he sees it.
     
  14. Al Peters

    Al Peters New Member

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    Testing for Diabetes Assist Dogs

    I was asked how many we "career change" before finding a successful candidate. We test all the assistance dog pups as they gt to be adults to see who reacts well to scent discrimination games and then look for people on the waiting list that might be a good match for other attributes of that dog, ie acing very active dogs with energetic people who like to exercise, lower key dogs with an older person or someone with additional disabilities. Some of those dogs never go on to scent training but instead might become a hearing dog for a deaf person or a mobility assist dog for a person who uses a wheel chair. We serve people on a first come-first serve basis, as long as there is an appropriate dog available.

    I noticed the term "alert" being used. Our dogs are "assist" because they do more than alert. They respond in other helpful ways, like finding help, retrieving a cordless phone, fetching juice from the frig, etc. Depends on what the client needs. We do this for adults who may live or travel alone, so they need different things than children might need. Hope this helps.

    Al Peters
    Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota
    www.hsdm.org
     
  15. Baileysmom

    Baileysmom Approved members

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    My information

    I am Dena. I am "Baileysmom". I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1981, at the age of 9. I had horrible teen age years, and many problems resulted from that. When I first discussed getting pregnant with my endocrinologist, he suggested we try the pump for 6 months first, then go from there. That was right around the beginning of 2000. My son was born at the end of Aug. 2001. I was lucky. I have always been brittle, much to my family's dismay. No matter what I do, I can have an unpredicted low OR high at ANY time. I no longer have diabetes awarness.
    I had a dog for many years that was my little "soulmate"- no offense to my husband. She actually alerted multiple times to both my mother and my husband when I was having seizures due to low bloodsugars. She is what made me believe that there were dogs out there that could do it.
    I contacted the company I got my dog from on my daughter's fourth birthday. I had an acceptance letter within 24 hours. My girl, Bailey, has been with me for just over a year now and has made a huge difference in my life. My A1Cs have dropped, my overall control is better with her help, and she has given me the confidence to get out and do more things without worrying if my children will have to find help for me.
    I still have higs and lows. My girl lets me know when I need to test and be aware. She does NOT fix it for me, but is a tool that allows me to have better control.
    Oh, the school issue....my kids go to the same elementary school. The principal and all teachers know and accept Bailey in the school. Since I have been at school events, and I volunteer once a week (or more), the school has been having issues with parents bringing "pets" into the school. They posted a letter on the door to the school, saying ONLY certified therapy pet and Service Animals are permitted on the school grounds. I talked with the principal about this, and she told me "We have NO problem with your dog. We know she takes care of you, and you keep her properly vested (which isn't required by law, but it useful). We don't have any problems with her."
    The school nurse thinks she is SO cool!
    That is my introduction for you guys! Hope you enjoy the reading. Now, if you want my children's ages too, I will add them! (it was requested on the first page, but I assumed that was directed at parents with kids who had dogs. :))
     

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