Here’s a great story, once again showing dogs really are man’s best friend. Or in this case a 12-year-old girl’s best friend.
Hunter now has her very own Diva living in the house with her, not just any Diva, this one is a diabetes service dog.
Diva is amazing at what she does, usually detecting both lows and highs before any symptoms occur. She’s even been known to bring Hunter or her parents a test kit in her mouth if that’s what it takes to get someone’s attention. That’s a blessing because Hunter can get flu-like symptoms, including stomach aches and migraines when her blood sugar is high or headaches and the shakes when it’s low.
It was Donna, who came up with the idea of bringing a service dog into the family. Her rationale was that if police dogs could be trained to pick up the scent of explosives, then dogs should also be able to differentiate someone’s breath and other scents, explaining that diabetics can have a fruity breath smell, a symptom of high blood sugar. “I wasn’t sure if anything like that existed,” she explains. After much research, Donna found that such diabetes service dogs did, in fact, exist in the form of Beverly Swartz and her company, All Purpose Canines, which specializes in placing services dogs with both diabetic and autistic children. The demand for these dogs has been so huge, in fact, that the company has had to stop accepting applications temporarily for diabetic service dogs because of the big wait list and the more rigorous training involved. “Beverly made it very clear that the training took a long time, that there was a lot of care involved with the dogs and that the dog and child had to be matched up if it was going to work,” Donna said.
Nevertheless, they made the trip to South Dakota to meet Diva, who has changed their lives, and ironically, was born on the same day that Hunter was diagnosed. How’s that for “kismet!” “Diva was very quick in catching on to my certain scents,” Hunter said. “When I first saw her, immediately, she was alerting and running all over the place, trying to tell someone that I was ‘high.'” Beverly added that Diva even alerted on the plane on the way back to Florida.
Read Hunter and Diva’s full story on The Huffington Post, it’s written by Carrie Pollare who is the owner of the company that sells “I’m Tired Of...” bracelets. It’s jewelry for a cause, when you buy an “I’m Tired of Diabetes” bracelet half of the money goes to the Diabetes Research Institute which is working to find a cure.