Diabetic Alert Dog to the rescue!
All Early Alert Canines are special. EAC Fleur takes it to new heights. Through multiple moves, getting her masters at Yale School of Nursing, and working as a nurse practitioner in a busy community health practice, Emma’s life has been richer and more independent thanks to Fleur.
“I am a nurse practitioner and I work in a primary care office at a busy community health center”, shares Emma. “We're always running around all over the place in the clinic. I do have a desk and a medical assistant who I work with all the time. Fleur sleeps under my desk and will alert me as needed throughout the day, but she doesn't come into patient rooms with me.
One day around three months after I started my job, I had been with a patient in an exam room for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. My medical assistant knocked on my door and said that Fleur had got up from her desk and walked over and sat next to her and was staring at her and nudging her and doing things that Fleur had never done to anyone in the office before. I finished up, stepped out of the room, and went toward my desk. As soon as Fleur saw me, she bee-lined in my direction and, kind of did her regular alert behavior: she stretched and then locked eyes with me. She wouldn’t let me be.
I checked my blood sugar and I was 70, trending down. This was right after I’d eaten lunch and I had assumed that my blood sugar would be going up, but no, it was going down. I had a ton of insulin on board and so I was able to treat the situation by drinking some juice.
That meant I was able to stop it from dropping lower and go on about my day. If not for Fleur altering on that low, the whole day’s schedule would have been thrown out the window. We’d have had to reschedule many patients.
But what’s amazing is that Fleur didn’t just figure out that my blood sugar was going low. In this clinic with tons of people, including what was probably a handful of patients with diabetes, she figured out to go to the person I work with most closely and figured out how to get her attention.
I'm sure that if I didn't have her, I wouldn't have noticed that low until I was symptomatic. When I'm working, I don't notice my symptoms until I'm very, very low. Fleur turned 11 on November 1st, and we've been together for over eight years. Fleur and I have become a very well-oiled machine by now.
It’s happened a number of times since then, but that first time just blew everyone away. It was so cool. And because everyone in the office saw that alert, we now have a clinic policy that if Fleur goes to you, you need to come and knock on my door and I'll step out and check my blood sugar and treat,” says Emma.