Abby was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic in 2009 while living in Maui. She was 25 years old at the time, in the prime of life, but without her usual high-octane energy level and zest for the outdoors. “It came as a real shock; I was losing weight and feeling terribly weak. It was a very frustrating and humbling experience. I knew juveniles could get diabetes, but didn’t expect it as a young, healthy, active adult.”
“Finding Dogs4Diabetics was incredibly serendipitous. It was a lucky break because I was living by myself in Oakland, and there was a lot of fear on my family’s part. Especially from my mother, who would call constantly to see if I was OK.” Abby was placed with Rowan, a jovial 80-pound black Labrador from D4D in February 2013. Rowan gave Abby the promise of a new journey in her life with diabetes.
“Rowan is very sensitive and a joyful soul and because of him, I am more aware of everything going on with myself. Imagine going through life with someone literally by your side all the time! If I am angry, worried or frustrated, it affects him and as a result, he has taught me to be more sensitive, more kind, more positive and more accountable. “Rowan alerts me when my blood sugar is in the 90’s, but beginning to drop. He gives me time to treat myself before I am really low. His accuracy is uncanny and is a result of their incredible training and bonding.”
As a result of their mutual trust and interdependence, they have built an unbreakable relationship. Abby states, “These dogs are trained to save your life, but they also bring incredible joy to your life.”