Deanna Erickson and Diabetes Assist Dog Gracie
The treatment for low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, is simple—immediate consumption of glucose or simple carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the symptoms of low blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, can come on rapidly, possibly posing a critical medical emergency if the person is unable to get help.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an “early warning system” that allows a person to take action before blood glucose drops too far? Meet Gracie, a Can Do Canines Diabetes Assist Dog.
This lovable black Labrador retriever has been nothing short of a godsend for Deanna Erickson, who lives in Byron, Minn. Gracie’s keen sense of smell, augmented by Can Do Canines training, enables her to detect low blood sugar and alert Deanna well before it becomes a serious issue.
“Since I’ve had Gracie, she’s catching my low blood sugars earlier, much sooner than I could myself,” Deanna says.
Besides providing timely low blood sugar alerts, usually through a persistent nudge, Gracie is trained to bring glucose tablets to Deanna. In addition, Gracie’s backpack has a compartment containing glucose tabs, which is especially convenient (and a potential lifesaver) when the two are away from home.
Deanna isn’t the only one who appreciates Gracie and the vital assistance she provides. So does Deanna’s 13-year-old daughter, Samantha.
“Before I got Gracie,” explains Deanna, “my daughter was fearful about me being home alone when she spent time at her dad’s. The idea of having an assistance dog really reassured her that somebody would be here looking after me.”
Believe it or not, Gracie required little training by the time she arrived at Deanna’s. “Mainly, I’ve just concentrated on loving her up. I call her my second child!”
Gracie also came without a major financial burden for Deanna — a price tag of zero, to be exact. Can Do Canines donors foot the entire cost of raising and training dogs like Gracie. To everyone who contributes, Deanna extends heartfelt gratitude.
“Your donations have had such a big impact on my life. Without your generosity, I wouldn’t have Gracie and the sense of security that comes with her.”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser: Laura & Adam Waudby
Dog Donated by: Julie Mach
Short & Long-term Foster Homes: The Bailey Family; Laurie Carlson; The Bonebrake Family; The Inmate Handlers at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault
Name-A-Puppy Donor: The Miller Family