Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thank God for Ruby

This post is part of a series called Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general.  Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me.  She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.  

If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.

In the meantime, you can follow Faith and Wuby on Facebook by clicking Here.


It's been a CRAZY week around here.  We've all been sick, Faith almost ended up in the hospital, Eli bit THROUGH his bottom lip...Yeah...  So, I'm cheating and reposting a Ruby story from November of last year. Thank God for Ruby.

So, Sunday while we were at Green Acres, Ruby kept alerting that Faith was high.  She was staying in or around the 300's.  It was another one of those stubborn highs that just won't come down.  Despite multiple corrections (over several hours), her blood sugar was still 335 when we left Tyler.

I had a couple of stops to make, so it took us a little over an hour to get home.  When we got home, Faith was asleep, so I walked around to let Ruby out.  I was going to let her out and unload the car before waking Faith to get her out.  As soon as I got around to Ruby's door, she jumped out and immediately jumped for the bringsel.  (She currently doesn't alert in the car.  She gets very anxious.   We are trying to help her work through that.)  I could tell by the intensity of her alert that I needed to check immediately, so I checked Faith's blood sugar while she was still in her carseat.  Her blood sugar had dropped from 335 to 67 in barely over an hour!  I immediately grabbed a juice box and she drank it down quickly.  Her symptoms seemed to be worsening, though, rather than improving, so I yanked her out of her carseat and ran inside.  I opened another juice box and by this time she was shaking SO hard.  It was so scary.  I sat down on the couch and put her in my lap.  She started screaming, "I want my mommy! I want my mommy!" over and over again.  She was SO confused and disoriented and shaking so hard.  I couldn't get her to understand or realize that I was her mommy and she was in my lap!

I put the juice box straw into her mouth and she wouldn't drink it.  I rechecked her bg and she was still dropping.  She was now down to 53.  I could tell by her worsening symptoms that we were rushing headlong into dangerous territory.  I squeezed another juice box into her mouth.  All the while she is still screaming for her mommy.  I sat there holding her, trying to get her to understand that I was right there.  She would scream for a few minutes and then get quiet and get this far off look in her eyes and then go right back to screaming for her mommy.  A few minutes later her intense shaking started to ease up a bit and a few minutes after that I could get her to look at me.  She seemed to be coming around.

As Faith's blood sugar started to come up her shaking began to subside, but still various parts of her body would jump and jerk.  Her head would jerk backwards... her shoulder...her foot... her arm.... her leg - it was so hard to watch.

I sat there holding her, fighting back tears, and thanking God for Ruby.  Had she not alerted as soon as we got home this would have been even worse.

A few minutes later Chuck and the big kids came home.  We had planned to carve pumpkins, pop popcorn, eat candy, and watch movies that night.  Managing diabetes is a daily battle and this disease never sleeps, but life must go on.

I know this, but all I wanted to do was lay in bed and cry.  Between the man sharing that morning that his Type One loved one had died and fighting a low for MY Type One loved one's life, I was drained.

Oh, how I pray for a cure...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How far away?

This post is part of a series called Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general.  Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me.  She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.  

If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.

In the meantime, you can follow Faith and Wuby on Facebook by clicking Here.


One of the questions I'm asked most often is, "How close does Ruby have to be to Faith in order to pick up on her blood sugar changes?"

After spending the year with Ruby and seeing many "long-distance" alerts, I've decided the best answer to that question is: just close enough for God to whisper in Ruby's ear that Faith needs my attention.

One of the most surprising things to me after we got Ruby, was just how well she could detect changes in Faith's blood sugar when she was not even in the same room.  One of the unsung (and unexpected) benefits of Ruby is that she allows me to let Faith run & play without worrying that she's going to fall out from a low.  Faith has no symptoms with her lows most of the time.  She can be running around the room with a blood sugar in the 30's with no symptoms at all.  For that reason, I never let her out of my sight before Ruby.  Now that we have Ruby I have been able to let Faith enjoy simple pleasures that we used to take for granted.  Things like children's church, playing with her siblings in the yard, or playing with the other children at support group.  Even when Ruby doesn't have to alert for a high or low, the shear comfort and peace of mind she gives me (and Faith, but more on that another time) is invaluable to me.

The first time I saw for myself that Ruby could (and would) alert long distance I was blown away.  I was babysitting for a friend with 3 children, so Ruby and I had spent the day in our cozy little house with 7 boisterous rowdy kiddos.  We both needed a breather.  So, when Chuck came home I asked him to take the kids outside to play while I cleaned up the kitchen.  I checked Faith's number and it was in the upper hundreds, so I thought it safe to send her out with the rest of them under the supervision of her daddy.  (She was barely 19 months old at the time.)

I kept Ruby inside with me to let her rest.  I went to the kitchen to start the dishes.  About 20 minutes later Ruby got up to alert.  I chuckled and told her to take a load off and relax.  I took the bringsel from her and put her back on her cot.

I went back to the dishes and a few minutes later Ruby got up to alert again.  I thought to myself that maybe Faith had snuck inside without me realizing it, so Ruby and I looked all around the house for her.  When I realized that Faith was still outside playing I put Ruby back on her place.

A very few minutes later Ruby got up to alert again.  One of the great things about Ruby is that she won't stop alerting until I fix whatever is wrong with Faith's blood sugar.  (This is also one of the most frustrating things when Faith is high, but more on that in another post.)  I knew I was going to have to take Ruby to Faith and check her before Ruby would calm down.

I walked outside and asked Chuck where Faith was.  He pointed out into the pasture, at least 30 yards away, where all the kids were playing happily.  I told him about Ruby alerting and that we needed to check Faith "to convince Ruby that Faith was fine".

We went to Faith and checked her blood sugar to discover that she was 100 and dropping fast!  She was low by the time we got her back to the house!  And not a low symptom in sight!

We couldn't believe it!  How had Ruby done that?  Faith was a LONG way from our house and Ruby and I were inside the house with all the windows closed and the a/c on!  Chuck and I were amazed and SO thankful!

I'd like to say that was the last time I doubted Ruby, but I'm a slow learner.  Someday I'll tell you about the time I doubted Ruby during a nighttime alert, only to find Faith in the beginning stages of a hypo seizure less than an hour later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Momma, can you donate your pancreas to someone?"

Tonight Faith got up out of bed and said her pod was hurting her arm.  A quick inspection revealed that it was bleeding.  Because it wasn't yet time to change her pod, the adhesive was still really stuck well.  Even though I was using Uni-Solve to help loosen the adhesive, Faith was still screaming out in pain. So loudly that it woke JC.

He came in the room and hugged and held Faith while I worked hard to remove the old pod as painlessly as possible.  

She'd scream, he'd hug tighter.  

She'd cry, he'd kiss her and try to redirect her attention.  

JC is a sweet old soul, and he's always had a soft spot for his little "Faifers".  

I got the new pod ready to be inserted.  Faith got very upset, so JC picked her up and held her.  He smoothed her hair and talked to her, trying to calm her down.  He helped her choose her stickers to decorate her pod.  What a sweet brother he is.

When the pod clicked and the needled inserted the canulla under her skin, Faith jumped and screamed the most painfully heart-wrenching scream.  I looked up and there were tears running down JC's face.  We both quickly began to comfort Faith and assure her it was over.

Faith calmed down, I cleaned up our mess, and JC carried Faith to bed and tucked her in.

I was sitting in my chair working on some homework when JC walked into the room crying.

The words he said sliced through my concentration.

"Momma, can you donate your pancreas to someone?"

"Why do you ask, JC?"

"Because, I want to give Faith my pancreas, Mom.  I hate watching her go through this.  It hurts me when she hurts, Momma!  If you can donate your pancreas then she can have mine."

By now I'm crying as hard as he is.

"Sweet baby, no, you can't donate your pancreas.  But, you are the sweetest brother to even be willing to do that, JC.  I know it's hard to watch Faith endure all of this, it hurts me too baby.  We have to remember that God loves Faith even more than we do.  He sees what she goes through and it hurts him too.  But, we believe that God works everything for good, and that includes this.  We just have to have faith and keep praying for a cure."

"Will you pray with me RIGHT NOW, Momma?  We need a cure."

Yes, my sweet JC we sure do.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The First Save

This post is part of a series called Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general.  Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me.  She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.  

If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.

In the meantime, you can follow Faith and Wuby on Facebook by clicking Here.


We traveled to Wildrose on a Sunday afternoon.  We wanted to get there, get settled, and then we would meet Ruby the next morning.  Wildrose had been more than generous, letting us spend the week in their gorgeous cabin on-site.  Chuck and I felt like we were on vacation!  The view was incredible.

We LOVED being able to sit on the porch and drink coffee.  It was so quiet and peaceful.  We sat in those chairs and waited anxiously for Ruby to arrive.

Faith LOVED playing in those pebbles in the walkway.  We had a hard time keeping her from throwing them everywhere.

She was so little. How did I not notice how little she was at the time?  I think it's by the grace of God, because if you let yourself dwell on how absurd a situation is (like needing a service animal for your 18 month old diabetic baby) then you'll lose your mind.  We were just in the middle of the storm doing what we had to do.  But, now when I look back it almost takes my breath away to see how little she was at diagnosis...and when she got her service dog, Ruby.

 Here's she's waving to Ruby and the trainer who are walking up.

This was the first time we saw Ruby.  I was so nervous I couldn't stand it.

 These next pictures were snapped the moment Faith and Ruby met. :')

We spent that first day just going over basic service dog handling, and practicing some public access.  Going out in public with a dog at your side is harder than you think.

Faith loved Ruby from day one.  In this pic she's holding the "weash" getting ready to go bye-bye for lunch.

The whole first day Faith's blood sugar was unusually steady.  Ruby didn't get an opportunity to alert for a high or low at all while the trainer was with us.  So, I still didn't KNOW what an alert looked like.  I'd heard it described of course, and had learned how to respond when Ruby alerted, but I hadn't experienced it for myself.  After a very active and exciting day, it was decided that Ruby would spend the night with us in the cabin, so we could get to know each other without the pressure of the trainer watching.

That evening I was getting Faith ready for bed, and Ruby was napping peacefully on her cot.

The next moment, I noticed Ruby stand up.

Chuck and I both froze immediately and waited for what would happen next.

Ruby calmly stepped off her cot, walked across the room, grabbed the bringsel (the stick Ruby retrieves to alert), and brought it to me.

My heart was racing.

It was actually happening!

I quickly checked Faith's blood sugar.  It was 160.  Not a bad number and not a high or a low.  Ruby alerts a high for anything over 180 and a low as anything under 100.

I was disappointed, but figured Ruby was allowed to make a mistake.  This was the first day, and Faith, as a toddler, did come with a lot of unusual smells.

I put Ruby back on her cot, put Faith to bed, and started clearing the table and washing the dishes from supper.

A few minutes later, Ruby alerts again.  I think to myself that I know Faith is fine, but for the sake of Ruby's training I'll humor her and check again.

In the less than 15 minutes Faith's blood sugar had dropped to 80!  The active, exciting day we'd had was catching up with us!

Chuck and I were overjoyed and completely in awe!  Ruby had warned us that a low was coming!

Because Faith was dropping so quickly, I gave her enough fast acting sugar to boost her blood sugar about 100 points.  (Which, by the way, was only about 3-5 grams of carbs.)

I put Ruby back on her cot, and left Faith in her bed.  (She was asleep - yes she can both eat and drink in her sleep.  Part of the type 1 gig.)

I went back to the dishes with a plan to recheck Faith in a few minutes, but sure that she would be fine.

15 minutes later, Ruby alerts again.  We recheck Faith.  Her blood sugar was 65!

Chuck and I can't believe it!  We are so grateful.

I give Faith another round of fast acting sugar that would normally boost her at least 100 points in blood sugar.

I put Ruby back on her cot, and I go back to what I was doing.  Paying very close attention to Faith and Ruby, but again sure that I'd given Faith enough to correct the low.

15 minutes later, Ruby alerts again!  We recheck Faith and her blood sugar is 55!

Another 15 minutes, another alert, blood sugar down to 50.  Another round of sugar.

I am completely in awe at this point.  I put Ruby back on her cot, and this time I just sit there crying and watching my two girls sleep.  Just waiting for whatever was coming next.

15 minutes comes and goes and Ruby doesn't alert.

I half-jokingly tell Chuck that I think I already broke the dog.

I ask Ruby if we need to check and she just sits there.

I check Faith anyway and her blood sugar was 110.  Ruby didn't alert because Faith was above 100!  How amazing is this dog?

Chuck and I sat there overwhelmingly grateful to God for this incredible gift.

On a normal night at home I wouldn't have checked Faith's blood sugar again for at least 2 hours after that blood sugar of 160.

Thank God for Ruby.

As fast as Faith's blood sugar was dropping and as resistant as it was to correction, it's terrified us to think of what we'd found in Faith's bed at that next blood sugar check.

Ruby started saving Faith's life that first night and she hasn't let us down since.  What a blessing she is to us.

This is a picture of Ruby watching over Faith that night.  These girls have slept next to each other every single night since that first amazing night when Ruby saved our precious baby girl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Call That Changed Everything

This post is part of a series called Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general.  Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me.  She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.  

If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.

In the meantime, you can follow Faith and Wuby on Facebook by clicking Here.


You can read the first part of this story here.

Ok, so back to how Ruby came to be our "angel with fur".

The trainer called to tell me the most incredible news!  She began with so, you remember that I told you not to get your hopes up about a DAD? And remember how I told you that it can take years to be matched up with the right DAD, and how it would be a long hard wait?  And remember how I told you that because of Faith's unique situation (being a baby at the time, not even 18 months old), it would take a very special dog?

I wanted to scream, "Yes! I remember all that, you're killing me!  Get to the point!" :)  I could tell she was getting to something big.

Let me back up a minute and say that Wildrose had a group of trained DADs that were already matched up with diabetics and set to go home with them.  These dogs had to be placed and a new batch of puppies started before we could even begin to dream about a DAD of our own.  Among that batch of trained DADs was a one-in-a-million dog named Ruby.  Ruby had been matched up with someone who at the last minute had decided against getting a DAD.  Service dogs are a LOT of responsibility and alter every aspect of your life, and thus aren't a decision to take lightly.

Anyway, when Wildrose began looking at Ruby's specific gifts, and looking at their list of diabetics waiting to be matched up with the right DAD, they noticed right away that Faith and Ruby were a perfect match!

The trainer still wanted to proceed with caution.  A DAD had not been successfully matched up with a diabetic as young as Faith and no one could say for sure how it would work.  Among the many complex things a DAD must learn, Ruby would have to possess a few special attributes.  (This is not an exhaustive list.)

  • A DAD for Faith would have to be able to look to me at all times as her handler, but watch Faith at all times as her responsibility.  (Talk about multitasking!)
  • They would have to be VERY calm and low energy, so as not to overwhelm or scare Faith.  (Or hurt her by being too rough)
  • They would have to be VERY obedient at ALL times, so that I could handle having a service dog, a diabetic toddler, and 3 other children under the age of 7...Every.where.I.go.  You want to feel a pressure cooker environment?  Try checking out at WalMart while a crowd gathers, your diabetic baby's blood sugar plummets while she screams bloody murder, your other 3 are asking for every snack they see in line, your DAD is getting hyper and excited because they are alerting, the customer behind you grows impatient, and the cashier wants to ask a hundred questions about your "precious dawg".  Throw in a few "Oh. My. Gawd.  There's a dog in here!" and "Oh my, is that woman blind?" comments and you've got a good time on your hands.  It was IMPERATIVE that our DAD be calm and quiet in ALL situations, because with a very young diabetic it would be up to me to handle every single aspect of that *super fun* situation.
  • The DAD would have to be steady in ALL situations.  It's one thing to accompany a diabetic everywhere.  It's another entirely to accompany a diabetic that screams and cries ALOT, wreaks of drool and dirty diapers (drool that may smell of a previous high or low blood sugar - talk about complicating things), pulls your tail and ears...  (God bless Ruby...)
There was no way to know if or how this match up would work, without just giving it a go.  

The trainer asked us if we could come to Mississippi to meet Ruby.

Uh.  Yeah!

Oh.  Wait.

We only really started fundraising the day before.

And only had $100.

Not the deposit, not the money needed to buy all the DAD supplies, not the money to spend a week in Mississippi - not even close to the nearly $10K needed.

It was discussed that if I could come up with the deposit, and the money to get to Mississippi, then there were two possible funders for the remainder.  One of which had already heard Faith's story and wanted to help.  

But HOW would I come up with the deposit and travel expenses so quickly?

I got off the phone with my mind spinning!  I immediately called Chuck, and prayed, but quickly got busy with the kids and dinner.  All evening I kept thinking about how in the world I was going to come up with the money for Ruby.

After dinner I got a phone call from the friend that had felt God telling her that Faith would have a DAD.  She was calling to tell me that ...


She had no idea that I had gotten a call earlier that day about a possible match up for Faith.  She still thought we had AT LEAST a year to fundraise!  I hadn't had a chance to call her yet and give her the news!

I immediately started screaming and crying.  My kids started crying and fell to their knees thanking God. It was the most incredible experience.

I'll never forget what my friend told me when I explained to her why I was so excited about having the deposit.  She said, "Honey, my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and if He wants Faith to have one little ole' dog then she'll have it!"

I was OVERJOYED and SO GRATEFUL to have the deposit and be one step closer - but how would we swing a week long trip to Mississippi?  

I texted my other friend that had offered to help with fundraising to share the news.  She was in the middle of a party, so I didn't call her.  Almost immediately my phone rang.  I answered and it was my friend.  She'd excused herself from her party to call and tell me that she'd heard from her church, and they wanted to pay for the expenses to travel to Mississippi!

I couldn't believe it!  God has done some amazing things in our lives, so I don't know why I was so blown away, but I was!

So, in one day I went from planning to fundraise and wait at LEAST a year for the right DAD, to potentially being matched with the perfect DAD and having the money needed to go get her!

To say I was over the moon would be an understatement.  

But, the trainer kept cautioning me that it might not work out, that Ruby might not be right for our family.

Two weeks later we were in Mississippi meeting Ruby and we've never looked back!

Next week I'll tell you about that first meeting and how Ruby very literally saved Faith's life on their very first night together.  I also have a picture of the moment they met.  :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Making The Switch...

Well, I jinxed us in one of my last posts, I think.  Just a few days after I mentioned that we hadn't been on MDI (multiple daily injections) for over a year, we found ourselves having to go back on MDI.

Last Sunday we spent the day at a friends birthday pool party.  Faith is on the Animas One Touch Ping insulin pump.  One of the reasons we went with this pump is the fact that it is waterproof.  People (myself included) are always amazed that she can bathe and swim with it on (or drop it in the toilet) without ruining it, but she really can.

That is, when she hasn't messed with it.

Like the first time, when she had somehow popped the audio bolus button off - and I didn't find out until we'd spent the ENTIRE day at the spray park.  Oh, yeah and that was late in the evening, so Animas couldn't overnight it until the next day - leaving us on MDI for a couple days.  With full strength insulin. And a baby with a correction factor of something like 1:375.  Fun times.

Or the next time, just a few days later when she was teething...on her insulin pump...and chewed off the front buttons.  Seriously, she was out of my sight for like 20 minutes.

Or the 100 times that she's pulled off (and lost) the audio bolus button, which causes it to no longer be waterproof - which causes us to have no choice to order a replacement.

Or the times she's played with the cartridge and loosened it enough for it to lose prime.

Or the scariest times when she's twisted off the cartridge cap and played with a cartridge full of (life-saving, yet lethal in the wrong dose) insulin - squeezing enough insulin into her body to kill her within minutes.  Thank God for Ruby alerting us to that and saving Faith's life.  That's a story I'll tell yall on one of the Where's Wuby? Wednesdays.

This latest time, last weekend, there was a pinhole in that darn audio bolus button.  She got out of the pool to eat some birthday cake, and when I grabbed her pump to bolus her I couldn't get the buttons to unlock.  And then I noticed water bubbling up out of the middle of the audio bolus button.  And then the screen went black.  Ugh.

I think we're on our 6th (ish, I've lost count) replacement pump.  In a year.

I have to say, Animas' customer service has been GREAT.

Every time Faith breaks her pump I call and explain, and expect them to give me grief, but they never have.  They just overnight us a new one.

And we've tried EVERYTHING to limit her access to her pump.  We've put her pump in a pocket on her back, locked the pump in a pump belt, scolded her - you name it.  Nothing has worked consistently to prevent her from meddling with her pump.  Imagine tying a cell phone to your toddler and telling them not to touch it.

At this point, it feels about like handing her a loaded gun to play with and asking her to not pull the trigger.  She doesn't have any idea how much power (or danger) she holds in her hand.

After much prayerful consideration we have decided to switch to the OmniPod insulin pump.  It has its own set of challenges, but it solves our immediate (and major) problems by eliminating buttons and insulin cartridges from the equation.

We were incredibly blessed to have an anonymous donor step forward to pay for the entire thing.  We are so thankful.

So in the next week or so we will be making the switch.  We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where's Wuby? Wednesdays!

By now, most of you know that we have a diabetic alert dog.  Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me.  She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.  (sidenote: I loathe that "control" word.  I never ever feel like things are under "control".)
I'm always being asked questions about Ruby and love telling stories about her, so I've decided to make that a regular thing around here.  Starting today we'll have Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general. If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.

To start things off, I'll repost something I wrote in October of 2010 telling the story leading up to Ruby joining our family.  I promise to come back and finish the story this time.  :)

In the meantime, you can follow Faith and Wuby on Facebook by clicking Here.


Oh, I've wanted to write this post 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 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 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.  I'll continue in the following post with what happened next...

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