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

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Boy and Pup Working in Public

Austin checking after Bo alerted low.
Austin and Bo are making even more progress in their work together. During a recent shopping trip boy and pup worked side-by-side with only a few bumps over the course of the two hour outing. The first being Bo lagging behind Austin at the first store in an effort to check-in with me as I followed behind them. I recognized I was distracting him, so I trailed off in another direction and caught up with them a few minutes later. While shopping at the outlets, they encountered three dogs at once. Two of the dogs were with one handler and the third dog was with another. All three dogs were interested in Bo. Typically, Bo doesn't have a problem ignoring another dog but these three (at the same time) got his attention and he was distracted. He lost his focus on Austin for the short time it took all them to pass one another.
Bo alerted Austin to a low while at Nike. 
Bo did alert to three lows while we were shopping. He caught a 61, 83 and 87. He alerted to Austin first and me second on the 61 and 87. He alerted with a paw swipe and bow and we checked immediately to validate his alert. Once validated, I prompted him to show me his signal for a low and then I gave him his food reward. Following his reward, we gave him the 'all set' command and sat while Austin treated his blood sugar.

At Bob's Store Austin and his friend were checking out an end cap with different sport balls. Bo was at Austin's side when Austin decided to toss a pink bouncy ball to his friend. His friend caught the ball but then bounced it back to Austin. The ball bounced right in front of Bo and he was rock solid. (I reminded Austin he should not be playing ball in the store.)

Checking out balls at Bob's Store.
Taking a nap while shopping at Bob's Store.
Waiting for their turn to check out.
Two hours of school shopping.


  1. I too stand back and watch Stella navigate through life with a SD. I've done it for years, and it aids greatly in being able to pinpoint holes or improvements that can be made or tightened up with training. I even have the added benefit (or major hassle, depending on how you look at it) of watching her with 2 dogs that were trained differently. Major to alert to the adults, and Raven to alert to the closest handler. We have spent a tremendous amount of time this year working towards having Major alert to Stella, and we are starting (especially in the last 2 weeks) to see progress there. I have witnessed a lot of Major checking for me while Stella is handling him, but as we are moving towards more independent age, these seeming innocent things become big glaring issues... Great job!

    1. Knowing you have experienced the same 'check-ins' from Major while Stella is handling him is helpful to hear. I'm interested in hearing more about how you handle these check-ins. I trailed off out of view and met up with them once they had spent some time walking thru the store together. My solution to the problem worked at the moment but I realize it's not realistic long term.