Woman, Independent Parent, Artist, Advocate, Artifical Pancreas.... and EVERYTHING in between.

I am blessed to be parenting two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven. My youngest nearly lost her life at age six (August 2010) to diabetic ketoacidosis: an often fatal consequences of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. This is OUR journey: raw and sometimes, uncensored.

Thank you for visiting wishing good health and a cooperative pancreas to you and yours.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Sometimes things fall into place so quickly, you have to hope it was because it was meant to be.

I'd like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the newest member of our family: Bella.

For months, I have been wanting to approach the landlord for permission to bring a dog into the house. However, there is a 'strict' no pets policy. Despite the fact that I literally bribed him to let us bring our cat with us when we moved in.

As a single parent, the care of Rowan (7) her sister (10) and Rowan's type 1 diabetes falls completely on my shoulders. Exhausted from middle of the night blood checks, I needed help.

So two days ago, I got brave and approached him. I explained to him the potentially disasterous consequences of an untreated night time low in blood sugar. I explained "Dead in bed" syndrome. I told him I haven't slept properly since Rowan was diagnosed (17 months ago) and that I *DESPERATELY* needed permission to bring a dog into the house to help detect overnight lows.

Yes.... there ARE Diabetic Assistance Dogs (DAD's). But the price is a step $30,000, and they will not sell one to a diabetic under the age of twelve.

As you might imagine. He understood my plight, and agreed to let us bring a dog in, on the strict pretense that we are to inform EVERYBODY in the building that this is a medical assistance dog, and NO he will not be letting others in.

Here comes the power of Facebook.

I posted my two-part jubilation: 1) that I was brave enough to finally approach him 2) THAT HE AGREED! Within moments, a friend who lives around the corner messaged me asking what type of dog I was looking for. Frankly, I hadn't even gotten that far. All I knew was this dog HAD to have a keen sense of smell. This about sums up my dog knowledge: that a beagle's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than a humans. Oh, and that labs or retrievers make very good 'working dogs'.

The friend went onto explain that a friend of hers had a rescue dog, a Chesepeake Retriever, but it was going to be handed over to the SPCA the very next morning. So less than two hours after receiving permission, there I was standing in the yard of someone I didn't know, who had this BEAUTIFUL rescued dog that needed a home.

Bella was found on the side of a highway in Saskatchewan as these people were driving through. According to them, she was nearly all ribs at the time. They knew that if they left her, she would be killed a short time later. So they loaded her up into their truck, and brought her back to Mission BC. They were hoping to find her a forever home, without having to involve a dog shelter.

She had been in town a mere three days before we all met. Apparently she did nothing but EAT in her time with them.

I can't explain why I agreed at that very moment to bring Bella home with us. I can't point to anything specific. But already I am glad I did.

We are currently working on establishing 'house rules' for Bella, before proceeding to train her to detect hypoglycemia. A diabetic assistance dog will smell the body chemistry changes in a diabetic experiencing low blood sugars. I can only hope that this dog will have a truly keen sense of smell, and a willingness to protect her new pack.

Well.... last night Bella proved to me that she is willing to take on this challenge.

Rowan and Bella were laying in bed in Rowan's bedroom, tucked in for the night. Snuggling. Suddenly the dog's relaxed nature was gone, and she started frantically licking the bottom of Rowan's feet, and WOULD NOT STOP. Rowan started to come out of her near sleep, and came out to complain. "Bella won't stop licking my feet all crazy..... and I don't think I feel good. I'm going to test".

Rowan's blood sugar was 2.3 mmol/L. She WAS hypoglycemic, and somehow, she didn't catch on to the queues.

But Bella did.

Bella.... if you have potentially saved my girl already in less than 48 hours of being with us. We will INDEED be your forever home.

Bless the heart of the stranger driving through Saskatchewan that scooped this needy animal and brought her to town.

It happened so quick, all I can think, is that it must have been meant to be.

Thank you world, for bringing us our dog.

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