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Diabetes Alert Dogs

by Marie Rosenthal, MS

Originally from Texas, Kristen Beard attends the University of North Carolina. She is a professional musician who plays the viola. She says her parents were very concerned about her attending school so far from home, but Montana has helped her live an independent life.

Both women talk about how scary it is to have “a really bad low,” and how the dogs have changed their lives.

“I don’t have trouble feeling low blood sugars during the day, but my blood sugar would drop really low at night, and I would pass out. He has definitely saved my life several times,” Beard says.

“Before I got Destiny, I could expect to have a blood sugar in the 40s every other day. Since I got Destiny, I hit the 50s maybe once a month. I was diabetic for so long, I was often unaware when my sugar was falling. During the days, I feel my lows better now,” Harris says, adding that Destiny also tells her when her blood glucose level is too high.

An unexpected benefit of a diabetes alert dog, adds Harris, “is you have this unique support system. It is especially nice for teenagers. When mom or dad tells you to check your blood sugar, it is a nagging thing; it is a negative thing. But when it is a dog telling you to check your blood sugar, it is a training exercise for the dog. It is a positive thing because you get to be excited for the dog.”

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