Thursday, February 3, 2011

Service Dogs for Diabetics

I would like to introduce some interesting customers that come into my store. Bill and Mindy were raised in California and now live in Idaho. Bill's father lives in Escalon. Bill and Mindy were here a few weeks ago to pick up a dog that they are going to train to be a service dog. I didn't know that trained dogs could forewarn diabetics that their blood sugar levels were dropping.

Mindy wrote me this letter to share with you:

Hi Sandi,

It was great to see you at the Green Pea when Bill and I were visiting Escalon in January. Hopefully the fog is lifting and you are getting some sunny weather.

As you requested I wanted to send you photos of Bill and Chief, his Diabetic Alert Dog. Bill has been a type I diabetic (Insulin dependent) since he was

16 years old. Over the years of living with this disease it became apparent that having a service dog as a constant companion could be of help to a diabetic in detecting low blood sugar incidents, thus preventing insulin shock.

Chief is a 5 year old English Labrador Retriever that we have trained to detect low and high blood sugar reactions. English Labs have a very steady, gentle and kind temperament which makes them perfect candidates for a service dog. Their sense of smell and taste are the tools that we use to train the dogs to help their diabetic companions. When a diabetic's blood sugar drops a service dog can detect this situation through their nose.

Physiologic changes take place in the body hormonally that causes a diabetic to smell differently than you and I. A dog trained to sniff out these differences can detect the blood sugar changes and alert their human companion through barking or licking. Chief is a licker. He will lick Bill's hand or arm and pester him until he gets himself some sugar or


Chief has saved Bill's life many times and prevented him from going into insulin shock. He has become a valuable member of our family and we can't imagine life without him. Bill has now decided to help other diabetics by training these amazing English Labs to be diabetic alert dogs. If you or anyone that you know would be interested in contacting Bill to discuss diabetic alert dogs and how they can change and enhance your life please feel free to call him in Idaho at (208) 788-3680. Or drop us a note at the following address:

Bill and Mindy Pereira

311 Tendoy St.

Bellevue, ID 83313

All the best to you Sandi,

Mindy and Bill