We recently had the pleasure of meeting Beth and her best friend Snoop Dog, a medical assistance dog.
Recently we met Beth and her Medical Assistance Dog. Below she tells us of the remarkable journey she is on with her best friend Snoop-Dawg.
Snoop-Dawg is a former rescue dog who has been owner trained by Beth to help detect her low blood sugar levels, as well as helping with her autism and mental health.
Beth trained him herself as no assistance dog charities currently cater for her disabilities.
“He started off as a rescue when I got him at four months old,” said Beth.
“He had zero obedience and wasn’t too keen on being indoors. We worked with a behaviourist to help him. At one-years-old, he was getting very persistent with pawing me and shoving his face into mine.
“A friend of mine suggested that I check my blood sugar levels when he started ‘being annoying’. I did so and the result came back at 3.5mml which is low. I didn't really take much notice until the third time of him doing it and made the connection. He currently alerts me up to five times a day, including night-time.”
Beth and Snoop-Dawg’s remarkable journey began when she was 18 and having energetic the Collie Labrador Springer mix helped her gain back her independence.
Before she met Snoop-Dawg, leaving the house was overwhelming but now this clever little pooch not only alerts her about dips in blood sugar but leads her to open space if she is struggling in a busy environment.
She said: “His alert system for telling me depends on whether I am standing, sitting or lying down. If I am sitting he will climb on me, standing he will rub his head into my leg and if I am lying down he will either climb on me or lie down on my lap and rub his head on me. He gives me a 30-minute warning of the drop and starts to alert at 4.5mml and when he does, I must test to check to see if he is correct.
“I have a small monitor and take a small droplet of blood and the reader will come back with what it is. If he alerts a second time within that 30 mins he is indicating a fast drop and I need to sit down and test. If he is correct, he will get a treat for it. If he isn't at that time, I will leave it for a bit and check again. If I ignore him, he will escalate the alert to jumping up at me (he isn't being naughty) and if I still ignore him, he will let out a single bark. He will only bark if I ignore his other two alerts.
“Before I got him leaving the house was overwhelming for me and when he first started going out it was the same for him. With me helping him with his mental state our bond has got stronger and it’s only when he is ill that you will find us apart. My mental health started getting worse when I was 15 and went downhill from there. I got Snoop at 18 and just by having him, I was getting out of the house and I was starting to get my independence back again. If I struggle whilst I am out, he will guide me out of wherever I am, to the nearest open space. If we are in a shop, he will take me to the exit.”
Although Snoop-Dawg is a medical alert assistance dog, he still loves playing with his ball and conserving his energy with a power nap.
But even when he is a little bit sleepy, he is always ready for action.
Beth added: “Snoop-Dawg isn’t a super cuddly kind of dog, but he will come and place himself at my feet or rest on my lap and ask for a fuss and cuddle. By stroking him it does help me calm down. He is a very happy chap and loves playing ball. He is a Collie Labrador Springer mix and has a lot of energy and will go all day, I do not expect or ask him to though.
“ At seven-years-old, he does spend a lot of time resting. Even when he is asleep, he will always wake up and let me know if my blood sugar is low. He’s always ready to spring into action and all his alerts are always done with a smile and a wagging tail.
“As I am autistic, I don’t really understand emotions but every time he alerts me there is a relief knowing I have him by my side as my lifesaver.”
Thank you so much for sharing your story. We wish you the best of luck and happy days together in the future.