Desiree, who suffers from diabetes, and Laurie had a WONDERFUL time training at Target with her adorable St. Bernard mix, Ollie!! Ollie is just the most lovable dog imaginable! Everyone can’t help but just stop and ask to pet his adorable self!
Laurie writes: Ollie did spectacularly at our Target session! He already has conquered “sit”, “down”, “sit/stay”, “down/stay”, “leave it”, “controlled entry and exit from a car and into buildings”, elevators, “heel”, “dropped leash heel”, and we exposed him to so many hilarious distractions at Target – I don’t think he’ll ever be afraid of anything!! (He was a little confused at all the huge TVs – but watched them like he was enjoying the show). We also got Ollie to maneuver perfectly with the motorized cart, which Desiree might need at times when her diabetes makes her lethargic or too tired to walk. He even had a ride on the big carts at Target and once he got used to it, he enjoyed the strange movement!! The more the dog is exposed to (and Desiree is very creative!), the more he will be able to keep his focus on Desiree if she starts experiencing symptoms.
Desiree is working at home on Ollie detecting her high sugar levels first. Ollie is alerting most of the time, but it’s not 100%, so we discussed ways to reinforce this. I suggested to Desiree that she put a small drop of something sweet on a spot on her arm – like a dab of honey. She should sit in another room with the arm lying next to her in an inconspicuous position. Ollie should be in another room held by Desiree’s fiance, then released when Desiree calls Ollie. He needs to come immediately to her, find the “sweet spot”, and first smell and lick it – then Desiree must encourage Ollie to “paw” at her arm as an alert. She should also practice by placing a drop of something sweet in her mouth, and doing the same method, have Ollie release to come to her and smell her breath, lick her, then move to pawing. Ollie should only be praised at this point when he starts the pawing.