Thanks to all my blog world friends for your gracious and supportive comments in regards to Lawton. To be honest, I don’t think I would have been so nice. If I were in your situation my comment would have read, “NO FAIR! I‘M TOTALLY NOT READING YOUR BLOG ANYMORE UNTIL I GET ONE!!!!” But, because all of you have such nice manners, I thought I should respond in kind with answers to your questions about Lawton.
I was asked if Lawton goes to school with the boys. The Dogs4Diabetics rules state a child must be 12 years old to handle a dog in public. J will be 12 in November and will be able to take Lawton if he wishes. My quandary is, if J takes Lawton to school EVERY day, Lawton may become more attached to J than the other boys, and may decide to alert only on him. Also, L will be home at 12:00 and I will need Lawton around for him. (He’s my youngest and most unpredictable.) We have decided that Lawton will go to school with J when he has a bad night of lows or highs, on a day where I am not sure what his blood sugars will do. Also, I need Lawton on alert at night. He usually sleeps while the boys are at school, this way he is not so out of it at night when I really need him. I don’t know what I’ll do when the boys get older. I am hoping to send Lawton to college with J. Hopefully D4D will take pity on me and offer me two more dogs.
Another question was, does D4D give dogs to people out of state? Sadly, no. They only work with people who live in the area so they can attend the weekly classes in Concord. The good news is that they are hoping to expand soon, throughout the United States and up into Canada. Right now they are focusing on getting the program just right so that the new programs will have the best possible plan to follow.
Lastly, how does Lawton alert? Lawton came to us with a long strap that was hanging down from his collar called a bringsle. When he alerted he was supposed to put this strap in his mouth to alert us. Lawton on the other hand had other ideas. When he alerts he sits directly in front of me and sits. He cocks his ears and stares at me intensely and then yawns. If the child that is going low is in the room he will glance at them and then back to me. If I ignore him he will put his head on my lap. Unfortunately, all Lawton cares about is his treat, so he rarely lets me know which one is going low. He alerts, watches me check the boys and then runs to the fridge to get his treat. It's all a game to him. With more training he will let me know which one is in need, but actually more often than not, it is more than one boy who is dropping. (If I over bolus for a food, they usually all eat the same thing, hence they all get too much insulin and they all go low.)
Also, a request for pictures…
Oh yeah! He is very handsome. When he is out in public and we give him commands we call him Lawton, but at home we call him Lala. He likes to sleep on our feet, he sits with his head on the bottom of my bed every morning until I get up and feed him, and he sometimes gets bad gas. Fortunately, that's the worst of it. He really is a perfect dog.