Len Hovan & Diabetes Assistance Dog Rogue
Len Hovan from Eagan, Minn. enjoys woodworking, restoring antiques and traveling. He lives with type 1 brittle diabetes which means he encounters frequent and extreme swings in his blood glucose levels. Len also experiences hypoglycemia unawareness, so he’s unable to feel the deep drops in his blood sugar levels. These can be incredibly dangerous and even life threatening.
Rogue, a three-year-old black Standard Poodle was described by her Can Do Canines trainers and foster volunteers as snuggly, dainty, playful and always so happy. She was matched with Len as his Diabetes Assist Dog. Rogue is trained to monitor a specific scent on Len’s breath that is related to low blood sugar. She will then alert Len through nudging or pawing so that he’ll check his blood sugar levels.
“I’m an old school diabetic. I’ve been doing this for 50 years. Rogue makes my life easier.”
One day, while Len was comfortably in his recliner, he dozed off. Rogue nudged Len to alert him of his descending levels but he didn’t wake. She began to yelp and finally startled Len awake. Len said, “My blood sugar was at 47. I was going to sleep through my low levels. Typically, she nudges me but if she doesn’t get my attention one way, she’ll get it another!”
“She’s become a huge part of our family!”
Len was referred to Can Do Canines while researching for a diabetes assistance dog online. He then attended a Tails to Tell Tour* and chatted with his significant other, Penny, on what he’d learned. He applied shortly thereafter. Len’s advice to those who are on the Can Do Canines wait list is to hang in there and be patient because it’s a life changing experience.
“Can Do Canines will go 110 percent to make sure they know what’s going on. The trainers are always there and they’re more than happy to help.”
Donors, fundraisers and volunteers are what makes each Can Do Canines assistance team possible. Len wants every donor to know that it’s money well invested. He says, “You’re investing in somebody’s life. There is no better return on your investment.” Thank you for your help in making Len and Rogue a successful team!
*Tails to Tell Tours are a friendly, informal way to see what Can Do Canines is all about. You have the chance to see the training facility and meet a graduate, their assistance dog, as well as a puppy raiser and the staff.
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser – Pat and Dee Dee Heffernan
Special Thanks – The Inmate Handlers at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Faribault
Dog Donor – LeAnne Pomeroy