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.