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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Working for Baby Food

One of Bo's favorite food rewards is chicken and gravy baby food. When he alerts, he gets a few licks from the jar. It's a convenient reward food that is quick to give and doesn't make a mess or require hand washing afterwards.

A Nap Alert

Austin, Bo and I were taking a nap in my bed when I felt Bo change his position. I opened my eyes in time to see him raise his head and air scent toward Austin who was sleeping on the other side of him. After air scenting, he sat up and pawed my body. 'Do we need to check?' I asked. He jumped off the bed and I followed him to the kitchen to get Austin's pack. I checked Austin who was still sleeping and he was 73. Before I got to the 15 min re-check Bo re-alerted. This time Austin was 70. Austin didn't feel the low and his next scheduled check would have been 1 hour from now. The pup is good at his job!

Night Alerts

We are fortunate in that Bo alerts in the middle of the night. We've found our success in allowing Bo to get a couple of hours of sleep in our bed early in the evening, when Austin is still awake, and then placing boy and pup together when Austin goes to bed. At 3:13 am this morning, Bo hopped out of Austin's bed and came to mine to alert. Austin was 84 -- an ideal number to be alerted at for a low. Bo is not perfect by any means but he is one heck of a night alerter and for this I'm incredibly grateful!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Video: Discovering a New Food Puzzle

Today, I headed to Home Goods seeking inspiration for Austin's new bedroom design. I didn't find what I was looking for but I did find two new Busy Buddy treat dispensing toys for Bo -- the Rip 'N Tug Barbell and Octopus. It's a running joke in our family that when I go shopping, I always come home with something for Bo. The fact is, I'm always looking for new toys to keep Bo engaged and new food puzzles to keep him interested in working for his food. (Bo works for all his food.) 

When I got home, I didn't waste any time letting Bo give his new toys a try.  Bo immediately showed interest in the toys when I removed them from the bag. It might have been their bright green and purple color, smell, or fabric texture that captured his interest. Regardless, when I presented the barbell to him, he took it in his mouth and proudly carried it through the house for all of us to see. 

I captured this video of him figuring out how to release the kibble that I hid inside the food pockets located in each of the barbells. You see him work to open the fabric fasteners and release the kibble. He also picks up and drops the toy to try and release the kibble. Seconds after I stopped the video, Bo alerted to me. I was still sitting on the floor with my camera. Austin checked and he was 78. After a short session of live scent training, where Bo was reinforced for offering his low alert chain, we played 'getcha' his favorite game.