A very magical, full circle moment recently happened which involves the Magical Dogs family, a boy named James, and a dog named Trixie.
You met James, and his mother, Shari, in Magical Dogs: Love and Lessons from our Canine Companions. James has Type 1 diabetes (T1D) which is very different from the more common Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is typically managed with diet or insulin injections. T1D, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that typically strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood and lasts a lifetime. To survive, people with T1D must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through a pump.
As Shari explained in Magical Dogs, “James has been having a lot of highs and lows with his blood sugar. One week it is all lows, the next week it is all highs, which can cause damage to his internal organs.”
“The lows,” Shari continued, “are another kind of worry. Many people die in their sleep from a low reading so nighttime is the scariest.” To deal with the reality (and fear) of T1D meant multiple checks throughout the day — and night.
Like any parent, Shari’s hope and dream was to keep her son safe but, beyond that, it was for James to play football and do the things he loves —and to have a normal life and do the things that other kids do.
Enter Causey Labradors and Diabetes Alert Dogs. You met Becky in Magical Dogs where she explained, “A diabetes alert dog is specifically trained to alert the handler to glucose levels that are out of safe range….they do not replace medical testing or medical devices but they do offer a safety net and one more layer of protection to alert an individual or family that something may be going on.”
Part of my mission with the Magical Dogs books is to not only share stories of amazing dogs who impact people and the lives (and world) around them, but to also donate a portion of the proceeds from books purchased directly from me to animals in need. Therefore, in the winter of 2016, I had three book signings: one was at the Hunterdon County Library; another at Factory Fuel Co.; and the final one was at Main Street Manor Bed and Breakfast At each of the signings, I donated a portion of the book sales to James and his family to help them pay for the cost of a diabetic alert dog. James, his mother, and his siblings were at several of those events. Many who attended donated additional money to help James and his family reach their goal sooner. This photo (of James and I) was taken at the book signing at Factory Fuel Co. which is where I first met his mom, Shari.
It was originally thought that James would be matched with a dog named Roman but, for several reasons, that wasn’t the right match but…drum roll please!…the right match has been found.
Meet Trixie, James’ diabetes alert dog! With Trixie, James and his family now have that extra layer of protection. With Trixie, Shari no longer has to repeatedly wake James up throughout the night to check his levels. And now James can do things he loves to do — with his best friend, Trixie, at his side!
I would like to wish James, Trixie, and their family many years of happiness, good health, and magical moments together.
And I would like to thank the Magical Dogs family once again for supporting my writing and my books because, in doing so, we truly can make magic happen!