Meet Endy. At just over a year old, this special black Labrador has just graduated as a diabetic service dog with Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR)’s Fallen Officer Puppy Program.
Endy, who is named after fallen American police Endy Nddiobong Ekpanya who was killed when his patrol car was struck head-on by a drunk driver in 2016, has now travelled to Arizona to join his new family as a companion to 16 year old, Tyler.
When he was four years old, Tyler was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which causes the level of glucose in his blood to become too high and is now insulin dependent.
He tells us, “It is a daily struggle to keep my blood sugar at a normal level. My family and I are constantly checking my blood and watching my activity."
His family believe Endy will help Tyler to better manage his blood sugar levels by alerting them if they fall outside a healthy range and importantly, will be a companion for life.
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How to Train a Diabetic Alert Dog
To prepare Endy for his life as a diabetic alert dog, volunteers at SDWR’s service dog raiser program have trained him to use his nose to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of his owner, Tyler’s healthy range.
Since Endy is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Tyler and his family everywhere - from school, to grocery shopping, even to church.
Over the course of the next 18 months, SDWR will return to Tyler’s home every few months to continue working on Endy’s customised training, follow up training and work with Tyler to help make them a successful team. At which point, Tyler and Endy will be given a public access certification.
This certification can only be given to Tyler after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program.
And it is this training program that sets SDWR apart from other non-profit service dog organisations.
For over ten years, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation, has been providing service dogs to people with invisible disabilities such as Autism, Seizure Disorders, PTSD, and like Tyler, Diabetes.
They have trained and placed hundreds of service dogs across the globe with adults and children facing the daily challenges of living with a disability.
To make a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, www.sdwr.org. To learn how you can volunteer with their Service Dog Raiser Program, please visit www.sdwr.org/service-dog-raiser-program.