Recently, she was in a photo shoot. I was part of a program called Youth Salute, and basically if you qualify you go in and they take pictures of you and you put your favorite pictures on a panel along with a biography of you and your plans for college. You're supposed to bring props that describe you and your life. I brought Elliott, my Border Collie, and Sadie. Sadie was a charmer during the photo shoot! The photographer loved her and thought she was the most well behaved thing in the whole world (mind you she was comparing Sadie to her rat terrier and min pin). I put a few pictures from the photo shoot at the bottom of the page.
About a week or two ago we noticed that Sadie was going to the bathroom quite a bit, and she seemed a bit off. Mackenzie was with us at the time, and she went low and Sadie didn't notice. So, we made it pretty obvious that she was low, but Sadie didn't recognize it. Mackenzie put her hands out for Sadie to smell, breathed on Sadie, spit on her hands even, but Sadie didn't care - instead she just laid down. Eventually, Sadie did alert, but it was very unusual for her to take that long. Mackenzie was going to take Sadie home for two nights and they said they would take her to their vet and get her checked out. It turns out that she had a urinary tract infection (UTI). We don't know what caused it, but she got on some antibiotics and is doing much better now. But, it just shows how dogs are animals and get sick too, and when they don't feel good they aren't going to alert. This why D.A.D.s are just another tool in the toolbox for diabetics and they should never be completely depended on.
On a different subject, for the past 3 years I have had a dog training class for kids, called Kids & Canines. This year, I asked Mackenzie to come and work with Sadie. This way she would be in a group setting with other kids, but it would still be constructive training and help the two bond and learn to work together. Tomorrow is the last day of the class, but over the two weeks I've seen Mackenzie improve SO much! It's been great! She is now doing a good job seeing Sadie more like a partner rather than just a dog. She's been learning to talk to Sadie and encourage her, but also to keep her standards and criteria so that Sadie doesn't take advantage of her. I really wish the class lasted another week so we could work some more, but she's made a lot of progress.
I'm especially glad that they made so much progress, because tomorrow Mackenzie is going to be taking Sadie for 3 weeks! So far the longest Sadie has been with them was for 5 days. So, this will be a really good learning experience for everyone. They have lots of things planned during this time, so Sadie will get exposure to many different environments and activities - I think one of those will be a wedding (hopefully I'll get a picture or two to post :) ). After the three weeks, we will meet and discuss what I need to work on with Sadie, to get her as prepared as possible for when she leaves permanently.
Overall Sadie's been doing pretty well, I need to work some more with scent samples to build her confidence. But she is live alerting pretty regularly on me when I don't eat breakfast or something. I'm also working on narrowing down the criteria so that she only alerts to 80 and below. I talked to Scott Smith, the extremely helpful D.A.D. trainer that spoke at the Cleveland conference, and he gave me a lot of good information on how I need to build her confidence on live alerting, then narrow down to the exact numbers I want. So, I'm beginning to do that now and it's been going well. Soon I will begin working on night alerting, just trying to catch her when she is dozing off or waking up and putting the swatch near her. We have a lot ahead of us still, but so far it's been going well.