Judah - A Petfinder Happy Tail
Judah - posted 12/21/2012
From Emilie of Effingham, NH
I found Judah on Petfinder in 2010. The picture that I saw was of him at 2 weeks old and I fell totally in love. After e-mailing back and forth and a phone interview I had adopted a puppy! I had to send away for my passport and after receiving it met a member of Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue just across the Canadian border.
Judah was a wonderful puppy. He was smart, energetic and learned everything readily. We moved around a lot in the first two years I had him, in November of 2011 everything changed.
At the beginning of November I was hospitalized. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and spent three days in the hospital. It was a life altering event. I struggled a lot with the diagnosis, financially it was a great burden and emotionally it was a lot to deal with after 25 years of "normal" life. I struggled to gain control of my blood glucose levels after having had them be so high over such a long period of time.
A few months after diagnosis when I was beginning to get some semblance of control Judah began waking me up at about 4AM EVERY morning. After two weeks of these early morning wake up calls my boyfriend suggested that I start checking my blood sugar when Judah showed these behaviors.
Well, Judah was alerting to a spike in my blood sugar! I had been spiking over night and after weeks of getting up nearly every hour to check I gave up looking (the frustration and lack of sleep was getting to me I think). So Judah took it upon himself to find it for me. After realizing what he was doing I began to some research.
I found some resources and people to talk to about his new found talent and they described to me how to refine his skills and how to collect scent samples from myself for practice exercises. I had been training Judah for search and rescue so he was a very well trained and responsive young man. After refining his skills Judah began accompanying me as a Medical Alert Service Dog.
He has since accompanied me to restaurants, stores, work, canoe trips, family functions, and even live music shows (including a large rock concert at the State Theater in Portland, Maine). He has become so accurate that he will alert to changes before my glucose meter picks them up, he will get my test kit, insulin, juice, and even go and alert OTHER people if I am not responding to an alert.
He has even alerted to OTHER people's blood sugars being out of range. The coolest time was a little girl in line behind us at a Wal Mart pharmacy. I was standing in line behind an older woman who was asking me about Judah, I explained what he did for me and how he could sense (smell) the changes. Judah began breaking his "down stay" and trying to walk farther back in line. I continually corrected the behavior until a lady a couple people behind us in line walked around the line and said, "Excuse me." I turned to speak to her and she told me that her daughter (pointing to a perhaps 2 year old girl in her cart behind us in line) was having a hypoglycemic attack. She explained that she had heard me telling the woman about Judah's job and wanted me to know that because of his behavior she tested her daughter and discovered that she needed juice! Well, didn't I feel like a jerk for correcting Judah!
He is an amazing boy, he will even wake me up in the middle of the night and retrieve my meter so I can correct sugars that are out of range. He is an amazing boy who has given me back the ability to drive, hike on my own, and go out into the world without a chaperone. I am so grateful that we found each other! Thank you Eleven Eleven and Petfinder!
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