The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

First Car Alert

Bo alerted in the car for the first time this morning. He had been in and out of sleep in the back seat with Austin when he alerted. He paw swiped Austin's thigh. Austin said he heard Bo's breathing change before the paw swipe, I was in the front seat and didn't hear it.

When Austin checked he was 49. This is a very low blood sugar, much lower than the target range we use for training. It's the first time he has alerted at this number and I wasn't prepared for how to handle it. I opted for giving him a food reward without the fanfare of a typical low party. The fact that we all were in a moving car and he was tethered in his car harness, made it difficult to handle the alert the way we would at home or in public. 

The car alert is progress even though it wasn't perfection. This week I will start doing scent training in the back seat of my car. We want Bo to know that this too is a place where his boy could go low. 

Public Access Work

Bo rocked Kohl's today during public access training. It was the first time in Kohl's and the second store we trained in during a session this afternoon. He was so awesome walking by my side and staying in place despite lots of different kinds of distractions. One of the challenges we still have to work hard on is the distraction of food on the ground. It's really difficult for him to walk by a piece of food and to leave it. We continue to work on this skill daily. He is doing excellent with the 'wait' command, which we train by dropping treats on the floor in front and on the side of him. He has to wait for us to pick them up and give them to him between his front legs. We wait for him to look at us before we pick-up the food and deliver it to him. 

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