Dogs truly are a mans best friend. For those with Type 1 diabetes, they may also be a lifesaver.
With thanks to Vicki Santo — widow of the late and great Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs — trained dogs may become more widely available to those who need them. Moved to help others by her husband's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, Vicki has established The Ron & Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Santo hopes her new foundation will help alleviate the burden of costs associated with alert dogs for type 1 diabetics.
Meg Flynn, program manager at Power Paws in Scottsdale, Ariz., says the cost of raising and training a single dog is $22,000. This program's dogs are placed with their companions for $6,000, which is expensive, but a fraction of their worth. Prices vary widely across the nation for trained dogs in other programs, many in excess of $10,000.
Meg says Power Paws trains their dogs to be 80 percent accurate on identifying blood sugar dangers. Trained to smell changes in blood sugars, they can tell 15-20 minutes before a blood sugar change can register on a glucometer.