Diabetic Alert Dog Delivered to Man Living With Type 1 Diabetes in Davis, Illinois
Tim, a 58-year-old with Type 1 Diabetes in Davis, Illinois, received a very special delivery yesterday of his own Diabetic Alert Dog from Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers.
DAVIS, Ill., January 8, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Tim, a Type 1 Diabetic in Davis, Illinois, received a very special delivery of a Diabetic Alert Dog from Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers. Based out of Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers, or more commonly known as “SDWR,” places custom trained and bred service dogs for individuals living with invisible disabilities like Diabetes, Autism, PTSD, and Seizure Disorders. With over 1,000 families actively enrolled or waiting for their service dog placement, SDWR has a mission to bring each a life-saving service dog. Tim’s new service dog, Brutus, will be expected to perform necessary tasks to assist his diabetes diagnosis.
Brutus, a Labrador Retriever Diabetic Service Dog, recently graduated from the SDWR Service Dog in Training Raiser program. Brutus has already received several thousand hours of training with both volunteers and professional trainers in preparation for working service dog life. With the assistance of a certified SDWR trainer, Brutus will continue to develop skills to serve Tim with actions like alerting to high and low blood sugar, retrieving medication such as insulin, and increasing his independence.
Tim was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12 and has been insulin-dependent ever since. Tim explains that, “When I was younger I used to ‘feel tingly’ or ‘see spots before my eyes’ to alert me to low blood sugar. But now that I am older I tend to lose awareness and simply go into insulin shock.” This kind of inability to detect your glucose level is called Hypoglycemia Unawareness. This unawareness can be life-threatening and sometimes occurs when an individual is asleep. This is where Diabetic Alert Dogs can come in handy by alerting to high or low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night when their person is sleeping.
When I was younger I used to 'feel tingly' or 'see spots before my eyes' to alert me to low blood sugar. But now that I am older I tend to lose awareness and simply go into insulin shock.
Tim was encouraged by his sisters to begin the process of looking for his own Diabetic Alert Dog due to their concerns. Several times Tim has had severe low blood sugar episodes without realizing it; sometimes losing consciousness. With Brutus at his side, this will give Tim one more tool – a four-legged one – to help him monitor his blood sugar levels.
SDWR uses a proprietary scent training method to teach Diabetic Service Dogs to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of a handler’s healthy range. Since Brutus is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Tim everywhere. Thanks to these laws, Brutus can accompany Tim while he is substitute teaching at school, at church, and even while he’s participating in his favorite sporting activities such as volleyball, soccer, Frisbee golf & ultimate Frisbee.
SDWR will return to Tim’s home 3-4 times throughout the course of the coming 18 months. During this time, they will continue working on Brutus’s customized training and public access certification. This certification can only be given to Brutus’s handler, Tim, after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program.
For nearly a decade, SDWR has been utilizing the placement and return training method and received positive results with families worldwide. The organization strives to place dogs with families based on their unique personalities to facilitate a strong bond and positivity-based training method. SDWR requires no travel by handlers to custom-train a service dog and instead sends trainers to their homes on a set schedule. This ensures the dogs learn all the custom commands in the environment in which they will be expected to work.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the Organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure… There’s a dog.”
To make or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, http://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Diabetic Alert Dogs visit http://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetic-alert. To find out how you can volunteer as a Service Dog in Training Raiser visit http://www.sdwr.org/volunteer-opportunities.
Source: Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers