We were delighted to welcome Hypo Hounds to Loose Valley Care Home on Thursday 13 October, who brought two gorgeous black Labradors to see us – 14 month old puppy-in-training Digby and retired 14 year old Tim.
Hypo Hounds is a Charity Assistance Dog Programme that trains puppies to be Diabetic detectives and alert the dangerous changes in their Type 1 Diabetic owner’s blood sugars. They help to prevent potentially life-threating hypoglycaemic (too little sugar) or hyperglycaemic (too much sugar) attacks.
Training puppies are selected from dog breeds with the correct temperament – mostly Labradors, but spaniels and German shepherds are great too.
Assistance dog scent training takes hard work; as with puppy obedience classes, the trainers take on a puppy from eight weeks and stays with them, living at their home as part of the family learning for 12 months.
The training is tailored to an individual’s needs and all dogs must attain Gold Kennel Club standard before their third birthday. It can take between 12 and 18 months and can cost the charity £25,000 to train just one puppy in the Hypo Hounds program.
There are over 29,000 children in the UK living with Type 1 Diabetes and the charity relies completely upon donations.
Our residents got to stroke the visiting puppy and the older dog and learn all about them, the charity and how they save lives and improve the quality of life for so many people.
It was such a great Pet Therapy session for us and a great opportunity to socialise the puppy, introducing him to lots of different people and places.
The pups experienced our lift (as Tim has arthritis so couldn’t cope with the stairs) and visits to our residents’ bedrooms.
Our ladies and gents were overjoyed with the wonderful dogs and their special skills – lots of happy smiles on faces!
We donated to Hypo Hounds for their lovely visit. Such a wonderful experience and a very worthwhile cause.