Catching up on some sleep.
The new routine is in place. By 745 in the morning everyone is gone except for Declan and Bear. Declan leaves by 845. Then Bear is home alone until Grandma shows up for the middle of the day river walk. Declan is supposed to put Bear in his room before he leaves for school. We even put an alarm on Dec’s new phone to remind him to put Bear in the room. From the daily updates I get from Grandma, Bear has been successfully placed in his room three times.
Part of the new routine is getting daily updates from Grandma. The updates not only report the whereabouts and the damage Bear has done when she arrives at the house, but they also include how things went at the river.
Reading the text updates from school can be a bit nerve wracking as there is nothing I can do about it. I wonder what mess will be found when I get home. We still need to replace that shin guard.
In contrast to the benefits of Grandma’s daily visits is Bear’s new night time schedule. Though he is exhausted at the end of the day from multiple walks and a lot of running at the river, Bear has trained himself to wake sometime around 2 AM. I believe the main objective for Bear is to take advantage of a few treats that are more accessible at 2 AM. First he goes to the kitchen pantry, looking for granola bars and chocolate milks that might be on a low shelf. Next Bear ventures to the counter for a jar of butter. Though no butter may be found, he can generally snag a spatula or spoon to chew on. After exhausting the plastic on the spatula, Bear saunters back to the bathroom to clean the cat food dishes.
Playing with Homer.
The regularity of night barks has decreased Dec’s sensitivity and increased my sensitivity to middle of the night commotion. So now I hear Bear barking in the Dec’s room. I venture downstairs, letting him out and placing him in his crate. Then I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep, which is about the time I realize that Dec or Maggie might be low. After a brief debate with myself, recalling the bedtime blood sugar number and the previous evening activity, I rise from bed and descend the stairs again, this time with a kit to check blood sugars.
Initially Maggie and Dec’s blood sugars were fine. But now that I am the one letting Bear out of Dec’s room, I now remember to take a kit down and test them before putting Bear in the crate. And twice his night time routine has coincided with a low. Or, optimistically, he was signalling the low with his barking.
And there was another time this past week that he signaled Maggie as she came upstairs. But there have also been the times when Dec is low and Bear snoozes on, signaling only after we’ve checked the blood sugar and we’ve called him over to take a sniff, which is turning out to be a signal for Bear to signal. Not our intention, but we’re working on it.
We continue scent training, though not as much. More of the training is finding the scent now. I’ll hide the scent while Bear is in a stay. I’ll release Bear and then follow him around while he sniffs it out. Yesterday Bear did great sniffing out the sample. It was interesting to see him go past the sample, slow down, circle around, and then quickly zero in on it.
The smoking probably isn’t helping the scent training.
When possible I hide the scents in someone’s pocket, or in a sleeve. I believe this will condition Bear to associating the scent with a person and signaling the person. After successfully signaling Dec after sniffing out the sample in his pocket, Bear kept going back to Dec and signaling. I’m giving Bear the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think he was smelling remnants of a low that Dec had earlier in the day. I don’t think Dec smelled like a low, but I believe his clothes still had the scent.
Initially I thought training Bear in our house would be easier because there are two people with diabetes. I now think that it would be easier to train him in an environment with no one with diabetes. It is much easier to control when the scent is out and when the training is occurring without any lingering low-scents showing up unexpectedly.