Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diabetic Alert Dogs...what a blessing!!

Oh, I've wanted to write this blog for several weeks.  It's going to be long, but there's SO much to catch you up on!
We have been experiencing a time of INCREDIBLE blessings!  Gosh, I don't know where to start...so how 'bout the beginning?
One day I was at a friends house and we were all sitting around the table chatting over coffee while our kids (we have 11 collectively...) played outside.  On the table laid a Focus On The Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine.  I absentmindedly picked it up and started flipping through it.  Why?  WHY was I looking through a children's magazine when I was sitting there enjoying the first grown up conversation I'd had in weeks??  (I now know it's because God put it in front of me.)  A picture of a German Shepherd dog caught my eye so I read a bit to see what it was about...only to discover that it was a diabetic alert dog!  I exclaimed, "WHAT!!??" to my friends.  (Who thought I'd lost my mind...or had tourette's or something..lol) I read on to find out that this dog alerted his boy to high or low blood sugar and even woke his mom up during the night to let her know the boy was low.
I HAD to find out more about this!
What a blessing this could be to Faith and I!
As soon as I got home, I got online and started researching and reading everything I could get my hands on.  I didn't even know if it would be possible to train a dog to alert for a child as little as Faith, but I was determined to find out!  I started telling everyone I talked to about it and posting links about alert dogs on my facebook page.  Some people thought I was crazy, others were supportive.
The first day I posted something online about it a friend of mine called me and said, "Sarah, I've been praying for you all morning.  Praying that God would send you some kind of help in taking care of Faith!  Something to help shoulder the load...and I got on Facebook and saw your post about the diabetic alert dog (or DAD).  Sarah, I feel it in my spirit that this is how God is answering that prayer!"  She said, "Research it and pray about it and let me know if I can help you get a DAD for Faith." I prayed (ALOT) about it and sent out emails to every email address I could find online telling them our story and asking them if they could point me in the right direction to find more information.  I got some pretty crazy responses and some very helpful ones.  One (unscrupulous) place responded with "I have a labradoodle for $15,000.  Call me."  That was it!  No questions about Faith's condition, our lifestyle, personality, NOTHING.  I immediately hit DELETE on that one!
Over the next few weeks I kept praying and kept researching and just felt God leading me to a kennel in Mississippi called Wildrose Kennels.  What I didn't know is that the dog that I had found in my first few days of research that I had been so impressed with was a Wildrose dog...
and one of the sites that I had found that had been very helpful was created by a Wildrose trainer...
and a sweet lady that I spoke to online about DADs was a trainer for Wildrose!
When all these pieces came into focus I knew that God was leading me to Wildrose.  There are many places training DADs (some better than others) and out of all those places I just kept coming back (unbeknownst to me) to Wildrose.  Chuck and I decided we'd pray about it one more day and if we still felt God leading us there then we would apply for a dog from Wildrose.
The next morning I sent in the application.  A short while later I got word from the trainer at Wildrose that they would be going through the applications the next day and selecting people that they would train a DAD for.  I immediately sent out a prayer request asking my friends to join me in praying that Faith's story would stand out.  That those reading it would be touched by it and wouldn't be able to get away from it.  A few hours later I got an email from the trainer at Wildrose saying that she was re-reading Faith's story and reliving her own daughter's diagnosis with every word!  I felt like this was just a little bit of confirmation from the Lord that we were on the right track!
Later that night I got another email from her...the one I'd been praying and waiting for! She said that WR was willing to train a dog for Faith, but that it would be a long process because we had to find just the right dog with just the right temperament.  One with the ability to focus on and listen to me as it's handler and focus on Faith as it's girl.  She painted this bleak picture so I would understand and be prepared for the LOOOOONG wait ahead of us.  She warned me that if there wasn't the right dog in the next batch of puppies then we would have to wait even longer.  There are families that have been waiting YEARS for the right DAD.  She wasn't being negative, just realistic.  I believed fully that God had a dog for Faith at this point so I wasn't discouraged a bit...only hopeful.
It was late so I sent emails to my two friends that had offered to head up fundraisers letting them know that we were accepted and that we officially needed to be FUND-raising!  We needed to come up with a deposit asap.  Then we had the rest of the year (at least) to come up with the remaining roughly $10K we thought it would take to purchase the dog and allow us to travel for Mississippi for a week for training when the dog was ready!  I couldn't imagine how, but I just knew God was going to provide the money.  I went to bed that night OVERJOYED!
The next morning by 9am I had heard from one of my friends that we had $100 in our fundraising account!  I was thrilled! Wow!, I thought, just a couple hours into the day and we're already at $100!!  That afternoon I got all the kiddos down for a nap and curled up in bed to catch a nap myself.  I don't get much sleep during the night from checking Faith's bg at least every 2 hours so I try to nap when the kids do as much as possible.  I fell asleep praying.  I was just talking to God about how every aspect of Faith's diabetes had stretched me out of my comfort zone and how I knew I could trust him and I knew his timing was perfect..but I really felt like I needed help NOW...but that I wanted his perfect will so I was trusting that his timing would be perfect.  I fell asleep praying that and was woke up by the phone ringing and it was the trainer from Wildrose. She said she needed to talk to me and asked if I had a minute...of course I did.
Ok, this is getting long, so I'll type more soon....To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying reading your blog. I am a mother to 3 (and one on the way) six years old and under. i also homeschool. My uncle helped to train Ruby and that's how I stumbled upon your blog. I look forward to reading more about your journey with Faith and just plain ol faith.


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