How Important Are Our Kids with Four Paws?????

Dusty Jesse PatrioticI have two kids with four paws.

Dusty and Jessie are as much a part of this family as the rest of us.  They were given their names from the movie Tootsie, which is a movie of great significance in our lives.  Our first dog was named Tootsie and I’m sure she was never happy with it, but she was a very good dog.  I’m still unsure if these two could ever ‘fill her paws’; but they’re getting there. 

For a short while, before Tootsie left us, we had three dogs.  This is a significant point because we were never going to have one dog…….ever.  And we never would have except when dogs are puppies; they are very, very, cute; in case you did not know that point; and I caved on that ‘rule-of-the-house’.   Two puppies and an ailing Bichon Frise of 16 years.  The two Shih Tzu puppies (well dogs now) are brother and sister from two different litters about a year apart.  They are LOST without each other.  Dusty, for Dustin Hoffman and Jessie for Jessica Lange (keeping the Tootsie-movie-theme going) are as silly as they are protective.  And they cuddle real good.

Recently I found a test strip on Dusty.  Now I’m sure dogs do not know anything about diabetes being in our household.  I find it interesting that some dogs are actually trained to sense blood sugar at the high or low ends……always fascinated me that they can be trained to do that. 

When I saw the test strip attached to Dusty’s ear, I wondered if he knows or cares about Kaitlyn and Rob and everything they go through.  Although rare, we have found them in one of the kids’ bed, and many times it is after we find they had a rough night.  Do they know?  I mean they are dogs right, how would they know?

I also find myself talking to them.  Before you tell me how silly that sounds I want you to know that no one is going to convince me otherwise that they do not understand my frustrations with this disease.  They do.  I know that because sometimes they will kiss my nose when I’m done speaking to them.  But in fair disclosure, sometimes they just want to be fed.

So I hope you have a kid or two or three that is furry and comforting to you when you need it.  One or two or three that will run to meet you at the door, come hug you for no reason, play fetch-the-ball (Dusty is great at that, Jessie could care less most of the time or she sits while Dusty runs and gets the ball, bites him when he returns it, and picks up the ball when Dusty drops it to bite her back), or will just come sit with you because you need to pat-a-head or scratch an ear.  Or maybe because you need someone to talk to when no one is around.  If you have a dog or a cat then you know just how important it is to have a kid, or two or three with four paws.

I am a diabetes dad.

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15 replies on “How Important Are Our Kids with Four Paws?????”

Our precious furbaby is also a Jessie….named after the Rick Springfield song which was playing when we met her. She is truly a member of the family! As my T1 daughter says “How can you be in a bad mood, when you look at that face?”

We have 3 four paw family members. Furby is a 12 year okf peekapoo and only cares for me but shifts to my daughter if I am missing. Although I think he gets exhausted by my care for Whitney. Callie is 11 and our only little girl and Australian calico cat. She keeps everyone in line and knows just the right time to offer a cuddle for me in my low moments. Emo is a 3 year kld peekapoo we attempted training him to be Whitney’s service dog. He was very active but responsive. However, Whitney hated the confrontation so we put his training on hold because he was just to active. However, with that being said he is by her side the second she is to low or very high. He is agitated if kept away from her when she is ill. But he will sit nonstop with me when I am on a long watch and check on her with me. If I check on her without I including him he barks, jumps, and whines. He has to lick and sniff her once to settle down. She would also be lost without his caring.

I get it. We were adopted by a stray cat around the time that our son was diagnosed. His name is Smokey. He gives hugs and meows like the devil is chasing him when Devin is going low and doesn’t recognize it. I wonder if World Marriott would let us bring him next year. He was our service animal until the Eric Holder decided that just dogs qualify.

Our furry kid is El Magnifico, an 8-year-old brown mackerel tabby cat. He’s not too bright but very sweet. And I swear I think he senses my nighttime lows – either that or he just loves to wake us up at 3am for no reason

We have 2 dogs and two cats. Our youngest dog, Jorja, who is 3, can sense lows (if I cross the 60 line) in the middle of the night. She seems to do it naturally and I make sure to encourage her and reward her every time she does. We have had her since she was 6 weeks old and it seems she just does it on instinct. There are companies out there that will train your dog to be a fully certified service dog, Jorja is not eligible. She is part pit bull and has epilepsy. Dogs know when something is not right. So around here, I do my best to encourage her to continue to wake me when I have overnight lows.

We recieved our diabetic alert dog 2 1/2 years ago, this is my first dog and I now know I will never be without one again. I once read that somewhere around 20% of dogs naturally alert, I believe Mary Tyler Moore has a pitbull that does this.

How Important Are Our Kids with Four Paws????? Our TobyCat is so important. And precious. And part of my d-team. He often accompanies me when I change-out my pump. Once when I was struggling with my CGM and on the phone with Medtronic, my husband was by my side – and TC was up on the counter, near the phone, on speaker as I was on hold. My husband put him on the floor. I said it was o.k. if he was up on the counter. Anyway, not to be outdone, TC jumped right back up and closer. He would not be denied to be close. He knew we would laugh about it and cope better with the d-issues at hand. And then there’s my mom’s last dog … who had diabetes. That’s another post altogether. She was 16 or so – and I still miss her very, very much. My 4-legged d-sister.

You know when I first started to write this article; my initial thought was that people would think I was crazy….and I may be….but I was thrilled to read the stories of so many who believe that I do……how much our pets play a role in coping.

Thanks for writing and sharing your story.

We have four feline FurKids and I dont know what I would do without them. When I get home from work they all take turns jumoing in my lap and cuddling for about 5-10 minutes. Our oldest one, now 17, used to tuck my daughter in at night and then report back to me when she was asleep. After my recent foot surgery she was never more than an arms length awa. They may not understand diabetes, but they understand when their humans aren’t feeling well.

We have two furry kids, an outdoor big dog named Melody and an indoor little dog named Scruffy. Neither are trained service dogs, but Scruffy (in his younger days) had a second sense about Rachel and her low blood sugars. He always likes to sleep with her in her room. Had he not awakened us one evening when she was in high school, sensing her low, I don’t think Rachel would be here today. It was about an hour before my normal middle of the night test. Her BG had dropped suddenly to 19 and I could not wake her up. Thank you, Scruffy for alerting me then and now for keeping me company now that she is out of the house.

I got my first kitten when I was 7 and went to Diabetes camp in the early 1970’s ~ from my camp counselor, Clare; her cat just had kittens. I named him Clarence. I’m grateful to my parents for letting me bring this kitty home because it ultimately led me to my nursing career after caring for the cat when it got sick later.

Now my daughter is going to the same Diabetes camp I went to 40 years ago. I never planned to get a dog but after she came back from camp last year, she convinced me that she should be able to get a puppy, similar to how I got the kitty long ago. So a few months ago, we got the sweetest, happiest little Havanese puppy. She named him Mister. We love this puppy so much! It brings so much joy!

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