Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had. —Thom Jones
It’s been awhile since we have given an update about Max and the difference that the funds raised for him have made. Back in January 2015, h design group asked our community to help raise funds for Max to receive the partnership of a diabetic alert dog. With the help of the community, $20,000 was raised within one month to put towards the training and gift of the dog companion for four-year-old Max.
One year later, Max is paired with a dog and the training process is in place. Curious about how this is all shaping out?
Many are aware that dogs are very similar to people—they have personalities, emotions and the ability to care for others. Some people integrate well with one another while others are disharmonious. At age four, Max differentiated that behavior between two potential diabetic alert dog sisters, and found his new companion.
While one pup would lay quietly at Max’s feet with their eyes fixated on him, the other was much more playful and wanted Max’s attention. After studying other antics of each dog, it was determined that Max’s new companion would be the the pup that had relaxed mannerisms. Max decided to name his new comrade, Sam.
Sam has been preparing to be a very attentive alert dog for Max with the ongoing training that Wendy, her trainer, conducts back in Texas. Aside from the everyday training of a puppy, Sam is working on public access training and tactics to be a diabetic alert dog.
When Max’s glucose is 70 or lower, his parents place a sterile dental swab in his mouth for him to suck on—which are then sent to Wendy to freeze. The scent will remain on the swabs for three months to assist in training Sam. To train Sam, Wendy hides the containers that hold the swabs in various places—such as pockets, under pillow cases, etc..
The process of Sam being trained to live with Max, and Max’s training to have a dog by his side 24/7 is lengthy. However, by Summer 2016, Sam will permanently live with Max and serve as his companion and diabetic alert dog. In the meantime, training visits will continue for Max and Sam to grow their bond, and create a sense of ease for Max and his parents. Most recently, Sam visited Max for Halloween, attended his school festivities, and went trick-or-treating with Max and his siblings.
Thank you to everyone who has made this possible, and for making a difference in this family’s life.