For years, we prayed and hoped for a Diabetic Alert dog for Max, but knew we could never afford one. At one point, we even gave up on the dream of ever having one. However, a year ago this month, this community, our friends and our family members took a fierce interest in Max and his fight with diabetes and made this dream come true.
In August of this year, we brought home this gorgeous yellow lab that Max named Diamond, and our lives have been forever changed. To say it is hard work, is an understatement, but when you see this dog save your son’s life, all the pee puddles and hours of training is more than worth it!
I would like to tell a story that happened a few weeks ago. Max was at school and I had come home for lunch to let Diamond out to potty. She went outside like normal, but came back in frantically barking at me, jumping up on me and even tried to chew on my shoes to get my attention. My first thought was that she had gotten into something outside and considered taking her to the vet because her behavior was extremely different. At this time, Diamond is only 5 months old and is still giving very raw alerts. At this age, she will do anything to get your attention to let you know there is a problem. Sometimes the humans have a difficult time reading her alerts. Diamond had been barking for the last few days to alert us that Max’s blood sugar was off, so I knew that she was trying to tell me something important this day, too.
I messaged the school nurse and asked if she would check Max’s blood sugar because Diamond was alerting me at home. She messaged me back a few minutes later and said that his levels were at 75 and dropping. Max said that he didn’t even feel it and he and the nurse were surprised to find his levels so low. Max consumed 40 carbs and rechecked and he was still in the 70s, which means his blood sugar had been dropping rapidly. It is scary to think where his levels would have been if we had waited for him to feel it. I’m not sure how she sensed the danger so far away, but I know she saved him that day. We had a puppy party at our house and she got to celebrate with real bacon. Once, I told Diamond that we were fixing it, she ate her bacon, curled up on my bed and exhaled a loud HUFF. I guess it is hard work saving lives, but her bond with Max was instant since the day they met.
What I have learned through this process, so far, is to always trust your dog. She has excellent breeding with excellent trainers and I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of the Tattle Tail Scent Dog family.
So this year, our family would like to thank YOU, the community, that rallied around my T1D warrior and helped us add this amazing tool to aid Max’s fight with this cruel disease. We wouldn’t have this story, and countless others to tell you, without the support from our community, our friends and our family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
His fight is our fight!
November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
JENNY WIGGINS is the mom of Type 1 Diabetic Warrior, Max Wiggins. Please read his T1D story on 8A.