Hi, I am Amara Wilson and I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was 2 1/2 years old. My blood sugars sometime get dangerously low and high. At night it is even more important that I stay in a safe range so I rely on my parents to monitor me. As I get older I am finding that my independence is becoming more and more important. I will be driving soon and then before I know it, I will be off to college! If I had a Diabetic Alert Dog by my side at all times I would not have to worry anymore. My dog will alert me before I go too low or too high! This will keep me safe and much healthier. Thank you for helping me reach my goal, and my dream of having a live saving service dog!
According to the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys certain cells in the pancreas, an organ about the size of a hand that is located behind the lower part of the stomach. These cells — called beta cells — are contained, along with other types of cells, within small islands of endocrine cells called the pancreatic islets. Beta cells normally produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body move the glucose contained in food into cells throughout the body, which use it for energy. But when the beta cells are destroyed, no insulin can be produced, and the glucose stays in the blood instead, where it can cause serious damage to all the organ systems of the body.
For this reason, people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin in order to stay alive. This means undergoing multiple injections daily, or having insulin delivered through an insulin pump, and testing their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood six or more times a day. People with diabetes must also carefully balance their food intake and their exercise to regulate their blood sugar levels, in an attempt to avoid hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions, which can be life threatening.
To learn more about Type 1 Diabetes go to http://jdrf.org
To learn more about diabetic alert dogs go to diabeticalertdog.com
Thanks so much to all of you for your support!
Two week count down for Teddy's arrival. Ed says he is on track and will come to Idyllwild for delivery on Thursday, the 16th!
UGH Diabetes sucks! Amara's pump tube was bent in half and not delivering any insulin to her for several hours. Her blood sugars need to be between 70-120 and she is over 600 and now finally coming down slightly after 2.5 hours. Poor kid... she feels absolutely horrible. I can't imagine how this must feel. She is such a trooper and deals with all of this so well.
Her service dog would have alerted her before her numbers went this high. Count down to Teddy...Hopefully 5 weeks away.
Teddy is doing really well in his obedience training! He starts his training in picking up the low and high scents soon. Here is a link to show Teddy "shopping" at Target.
More questions answered:
It is so great that Teddy the standard poodle is working out so far. Amara was able to meet him today and loves him! If at any time Teddy cannot continue to succeed in his training then we have to start over with a new dog. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
What breeds of dogs do you choose to train?
There are several factors that go into choosing which dogs enter the Diabetic Alert Dogs of America program. They extensively evaluate the dogs based on different factors and not by breed alone. They do not use “puppy mills” or pet stores to acquire their dogs. They use licensed breeders, and select private party donations. All of their new recruits are put through an extensive evaluation period before ever entering their training program.
How is a service dog treated as compared to a pet?
When the service dog is “working” they should have their full
attention on Amara. It is not ok for the service dog to be played with or pet unless Amara is there and gives the ok. These dogs are very happy doing the job they were trained for. They are well
exercised by constantly accompanying Amara wherever she goes. When Amara first receives her dog he or she will accompany her everywhere she goes for at least a full three months. After that
attachment period Amara can choose to occasionally go places on her own (like a school dance) and give her service dog a break. Service dogs can never be turned away from any public place. If Amara travels by plane her dog will sit at her feet, not in a kennel
or in the plane’s storage area.
Amara was able to meet Teddy today! He was coming back with his trainer Ed from Sea World. Teddy continues to do well and let's hope it keeps up because he is a really wonderful dog.
We met Teddy a pure bred standard poodle in Vegas. He is great! The way it works is ed the owner finds a match for our family needs. He had kept his eye out for a while and found Teddy. We met him and want to move forward with him. He could fail training at any time during the next three months so we can't get our hearts too set. We shall see but so far he seems great. So Amara could have her dog as early as jan or feb. This is 10 months sooner than we thought this would happen!!!
More questions answered:
How will the dog alert Amara?
Amara’s Diabetic Alert Dog will be trained to actively alert her
by simply “pawing” at her leg when her blood sugar is out of the target range. The dog will continue to “paw” and alert Amara until her blood sugar returns to a safe level. The dog will also be trained to alert Amara while she is sleeping by physically jumping up on Amara’s bed to wake her if her blood sugar levels are out of range
How will the service dog know Amara’s certain scent changes?
After the dog is chosen and trained for at least two months we
overnight scent samples (taken from Amara’s saliva) to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America (DADofAmerica). There will be at least eight different blood sugar level containers sent to DADofAmerica ranging from a blood sugar of less than 40 to a blood sugar of
greater than 250. When Amara meets her service dog for the first time that dog will already know who Amara is based on the scent training he/she has received!
Paige and I are going to celebrate her birthday with friends in Vegas this weekend!!! We also get to meet some diabetic alert dogs in training because the company is in Vegas. So excited to see it in action. Maybe our future dog will be one of the dogs he already owns. We shall see!
I talked to Ed, the owner of Diabetic Alert Dogs Of America, and told him to move forward in finding a wonderful dog for Amara. After finding the dog and the training we are hoping for placement around the first part of February. Amara is beyond excited! Thanks to you all for your support.
What an amazing event we had last night... with giving, wonderful friends! We were hoping for $1,500 and we received $5,540!!!!! This amount with the We Caring web site get's Amara her dog!!! Wow... waaaaaay earlier than we ever thought possible. Thank you to all!!!! xxxooo
I will keep you all posted on what happens next.
Hey there... the fundraiser is just a few days away and more great silent auction items just came in...
An outdoor photography session
Beautiful succulent arrangements
A 90 minute total detox treatment
A $1,750 corporate identity package!
Wrapping up some details on the fundraiser! It is less than a week away! We are so looking forward to seeing you all there!!!
Wow!!! Our fundraiser in San Diego on the 28th is coming together. Check out some of the amazing items available in our silent auction...
• One week summer stay in Park City, Utah
• Massage package at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
• Surf lessons for you or your dog!
• Amazing art pieces by several local artists
• Hotel stays in Idyllwild and Palm Springs
• Palm Springs Dinah Shore weekend packages
• Massages by local professionals
• Beautiful jewelry, and hats
• Photography sessions, hair cuts, gift baskets, gift cards, and more!
With all the new excitement and activities at Idyllwild Arts Amara has dropped below 40 three days in a row! Sooooo scary! Even with me making adjustments! With her Diabetic Alert Dog this won't happen. Thank goodness we caught it before she passed out... whew... close calls. She is supposed to stay between 70 and 120.
Another question answered:
How does a diabetic alert dog work?
Our bodies are a unique makeup of organic chemicals - all of which have very specific smells. Low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia, cause a release of chemicals in the body that have a distinct odor undetectable by humans. The training process positively motivates these dogs to alert when they smell these odors.
Hey all! I will be answering some FAQ's here and there... question #1
What is a diabetic alert dog?
Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to alert Amara in advance of low (hypoglycemia) or high (hyperglycemia) blood sugar events before they become dangerous. Amara can then take steps to return her blood sugar to normal, such as using glucose sweets or taking insulin. A Diabetic Alert Dog is specifically trained to react to the chemical change produced by blood sugar highs and lows. Diabetic alert dogs can provide emotional security and a sense of balance for Amara and the family. They can help Amara lead a more confident, and independent lifestyle.
All is moving forward on the fundraising event coming up in San Diego on Saturday, Sept 28th! Thanks to those who already donated items to the silent auction!
Also exciting news... Ed Peeples the owner of Diabetic Alert Dogs of America is starting to search for the perfect dog for our family. He is thinking that a standard poodle may be the type of breed that would work well for our needs. We are very excited about this possibility! Stay tuned!
Sorry I haven't written lately... I am out of the country. My daughter Amara contacted me telling me how excited she is to see how much people have donated so far. Wow... So am I! She is so hopeful now and believes this may be happening sooner than expected.
I want you to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 28th. We will be having a fun fundraiser in San Diego. The location and time frame will be announced later. Hope you and some friends can make it and thanks again for your generosity!
just some updates for you! The other night was a tough one... one of our up every two hours kinda nights. I even had to change Amara's pump infusion set at 4:00 am... she was not too happy to be woken up and then given pain. ARG! On a happy note the fundraising is going really well and some fun fundraiser gatherings will be coming up in a month or so. People are coming up to me and offering tons of help... thanks!!! I will get the word out there when our first fundraiser is in the works! Thanks and love to all :-)
Thanks again so much to all of you. A current update is that I will be sending a signed contract to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America LLC. The money raised so far will go to that company and I will continue to forward all funds to DADofA as the money comes in.
Three different Idyllwild fundraising plans are being brainstormed currently with wonderful friends here that are helping me. Also the story is going in the Idyllwild Town Crier hopefully this week or next. So exciting!
Wow! Thanks everyone for you generosity! Amara was in town selling her snakes yesterday and will be selling more items at the concert this Thursday. Bring a buck for a glow necklace or bracelet to party on the dance floor!
...and to clear up any confusion... we are saving to get the dog, we don't have the dog yet. That is our dog Mojo in the logo i made.
So many wonderful, generous people in the world. Thank you to all, we so appreciate you!!!