Diabetes detection dog keeps watch over Kingsley family


Rhys Franklin with his prospective diabetic alert puppy, Daisy.
Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au   d471357
Diabetes detection dog keeps watch over Kingsley family
Rhys Franklin with his prospective diabetic alert puppy, Daisy. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d471357

DAISY may look cute and cuddly but the 10-week-old puppy has an important job to do.

The mini groodle (golden retriever cross miniature poodle) has joined Kingsley’s Franklin family after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Michelle Franklin raised $5130 to buy Daisy and for her training through Paws for Diabetics to become a diabetic alert dog for eight-year-old son Rhys.

She said Rhys was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was five and requires up to 15 checks of his blood glucose levels every day.

“Once he was diagnosed, I didn’t get a lot of sleep; you’re always fearing the worst about the highs and lows,” she said.

Mrs Franklin read about a diabetic alert dog in the eastern states and believed it would be of great benefit to the Creaney Primary School student.

“It’s a very expensive path to take,” she said.

“There was no way we were ever going to be able to pay for the puppy, let alone the training.”

Thanks to donations via a Go Fund Me page, the Franklins purchased Daisy from a Sydney breeder and are now waiting to find out if she has been accepted in to the training program.

The aim is for Daisy to be able to alert Mrs Franklin or her husband Gary when Rhys is having a hypoglycaemic attack (low blood sugar levels) and hopefully become an assistance dog, which means she could travel everywhere with him.

“It’s a long process but one I’m willing to go down as long as we can,” Mrs Franklin said.

“It’s already changed our lives, just having this extra little focus and extra little love in the house.”

Mrs Franklin said Rhys’s blood glucose levels could drop dramatically very quickly despite their best efforts and constant monitoring.

“There’s been plenty of times when we haven’t realised they were that low,” she said.

“The hardest thing about diabetes is you just don’t have any control over it.”

She hopes Daisy would provide an extra safeguard against attacks, which if left untreated could result in confusion and loss of consciousness.

“I don’t feel like I’ve slept for three years,” she said.

“It’s been a tough ride.

“You never relax, you’re always on alert.”

As part of National Diabetes Week this week, Mrs Franklin hoped others would learn more about the condition.

“It’s really full-on and it’s full-on for the family and for the person going through it,” Mrs Franklin said.

“I would like more understanding of type 1 diabetes… how hard it is just to get through a day.”

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