Transitional Foster Homes are households where at least one person has type 1 diabetes and is willing to foster a dog for 6-8 weeks. This is a vital step in the training process and requires the person with diabetes to log their blood sugar readings and record the Diabetic Alert Dog's (DAD) alerts. Before a DAD is placed with their partner, they go through three or four transitional homes where they must meet certain criteria for alerting standards. If a dog isn't alerting, they come back to the facility for more work before they can be placed. Transitional Fosters help the dogs gain comfort and confidence in alerting in different situations and with different people to make sure they're ready to be placed!
It's especially unique when a client is also able to be a Transitional Foster! This is true for Peter, who is placed with EAC Rocket. Peter is one of a few volunteers who help provide this crucial part of the training process. Thanks to his experience, diligence and sincere desire to help others, he and his family make it possible for a DAD to hone their skills and ultimately become someone's life-saving partner.
What does it mean to be a Transitional Foster Home for Early Alert Canines (EAC)?
Peter shares, "Providing a Transitional Foster Home means that I must provide a caring and safe environment for EAC dogs, such as having a fenced yard. It also means nurturing and caring for the dogs, providing routine times for meals, and looking after their general health and welfare."
What unique tasks do you do as a Transitional Foster?
"As a Transitional Foster," says Peter, "I feel a special bond with all EAC dogs who are working to support people with type 1 diabetes, like myself. I have a deep appreciation for the work that these service dogs are doing, because they are indeed life-savers!"
What one of your most memorable experiences?
"Every dog that comes to stay is unique," recalls peter. "I’ve also been able to go away on holiday with my own service dog, as well as the foster dog. Some memorable experiences include taking foster dogs to Lake Tahoe and playing in the snow. Once, EAC Rosie alerted on me even as she was busy at play. According to my pump, I was 65 with a down arrow but I didn’t hear the alarms and didn’t feel the low coming on."
Why is it important that people with type 1 diabetes volunteer as Transitional Homes?
"As a type 1 diabetic client, I can also support the important work of hypoglycemic detection awareness. Because I have a working service dog already, the EAC dogs that come to stay for a few weeks have a unique opportunity to learn from my partner, EAC Rocket and from me," says Peter.
Why should a donor support EAC?
"EAC is a loving, caring and essential organization for people with type 1 diabetes, especially those who experience hypoglycemic unawareness," shares Peter. "EAC has given me a new life by pairing me with EAC Rocket. Having my DAD in my life means that I can never have a bad day. Every day is special, more beautiful, and more joyous with EAC Rocket in my life.
What inspires you about EAC's mission?
Peter shares, "To be a client of EAC is to grow in love, health, and community. Everything about EAC inspires me-from the scent-smart dogs that alert their diabetic partners, to the passionate and hard-working staff that care for and train them for their work. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to EAC for partnering me with EAC Rocket, who is a big, rambunctious, adorable, playful, charming dog with amazing life-saving abilities. He changes my life for the better, every single day!"
Thank you, Peter & Family, and EAC Rocket too!