Do Diabetic Alert Dogs Retire?
Yes, they do! As a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD) ages and it becomes apparent that
retirement is approaching, Early Alert Canines (EAC) begins to consider a succession plan. Retirement means that the dog will no longer work as a service dog. Their service vest is returned to EAC and they no longer have public access rights. The process of identifying, training, and placing a new dog can take 1 or 2 years and this is carefully planned with each client in consideration of their needs and the needs of the dog.
These dogs work tirelessly, day and night, their entire lives, in service to their human partners. They deserve to retire in a loving and comfortable home where they can receive the care they are worthy of. Along with EAC’s guidance, clients determine if a successor dog is an option they want to consider. After years of bonding and partnering with their DAD, some clients choose to allow some time to assess whether or not they want a second dog and for others, there is no question that they want a second dog as soon as possible.
Once retirement is confirmed, most frequently, clients work with EAC to keep the dog either in their home or transition the dog to someone within their family or with a friend. If this isn’t possible, EAC will ensure that the dog finds a caring and loving home that will provide them with the best environment for their retirement.
In 2022, EAC celebrated a special milestone by hosting the first official "Successor Dog" training class, where 3 dogs were placed with some of EAC's very first clients! One of those clients is Stephanie, whose first DAD, EAC Ozark, officially retired. She was placed with her new partner, EAC Huey.
Stephanie shares, "welcome, Huey to our crazy family! Ozark has retired and is enjoying a life of leisure after 10 years of constant service. At 12 1/2 he deserves a break and is relishing his time with Nana and Papa. As Ozark’s successor, Early Alert Canines has again blessed us with a loving, energetic, Diabetic Alert Dog to help take care of me. He is a cuddle bug and learns quickly. Due to his amazing training at EAC, his alerts are spot-on for both high and low sugars. We have only been together for a week but he has experienced my unpredictable, adventure-filled life already. He’s a trooper through it all. Thank you, EAC for placing such an amazing boy with me to help take care of me through it all."