I’m Peter, and I have been a type-one diabetic for 36 years. When I was first diagnosed, we relied on glass syringes and urine tests instead of the more sophisticated devices that have been developed, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. Although I now have these instruments and appreciate them, I recently received the best tool for my diabetes management. That tool is Franklin–a loveable, cuddly, and playful Labrador retriever that has been scent-trained to recognize impending drops in my blood glucose levels!
Before receiving Franklin, I had trouble managing my diabetes. Not only was I suffering from hypoglycemic unawareness, but also experienced day-to-day difficulties with low blood sugar; this made routine activities challenging. When I learned about medical alert dogs that were scent-trained for type-1 diabetics, I knew that this could be my solution. After receiving extensive training, I was partnered with Franklin in November 2009 and since that time, my life has been transformed. Not only am I physically healthier, but I am also happier, more active, and more confident to go about my daily activities without worrying about hypoglycemic episodes.
As a service dog, Franklin accompanies me everywhere I go, even to my work! When first partnered, Franklin accompanied me to work at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View where he was a much beloved figure. Nowadays, we work much closer to home on the UC Berkeley campus; everyone is very fond of him there, too!
With Franklin by my side, it is hard to have a bad day, despite the challenges that type-1 diabetes bring. He makes my life richer and brighter every single day. For this, I am deeply indebted to D4D.