Clowns in little hairy suits, long-time companions, guardians, intuitive sentinels … it is an endless list when we think about how these dogs grace our lives and become an integral part of our day-to-day activities. Today’s submission is testament as to just how intuitive:
My husband is an insulin-dependent diabetic and has been for the past 53 years. Thankfully, it’s no longer a death sentence or a macabre dance with gangrene. While he’s healthier than most non-diabetics, he still has his ups/downs. Literally.
The back story: blood sugar levels are either in the normal range, in hyperglycemia (meaning they are high) or in hypoglycemia (low). Extremes on either end can cause a diabetic coma. Either can be corrected fairly rapidly … highs are treated with an insulin injection to bring the blood sugar down and lows by the ingestion of glucose/sugar to bring it back up. Unless it’s the middle of the night and one is not aware that the level has slipped into a danger zone. Very low blood sugar causes a loss of cognizance, inability to speak, heavy sweating, involuntary limb movement, and a loss of motor skills (inability to sit, walk, hold things, etc.). It is a medical emergency.
Recently, one of our Apsos started barking frantically in her crate around 2:00 a.m., rousing me out of a very deep sleep. When I became aware of what was going on, it was evident Hubby’s blood sugar level was dangerously low. Once I got out of bed and started tending to him, the barking stopped and she quietly observed from her crate my efforts to get him into a seated position on the bed, help him to drink a soda (he can’t hold a container at this point) and then walk him into the kitchen for yogurt in a chair with arms so as to keep him upright. At some point in the kitchen, Hubby’s cognitive awareness returned and we eventually made our way back to bed.
The Apso, still quiet, let it be known she needed to be toileted … I throw on a housecoat, make my way to the back door where I slip into my garden clogs, and then escort the dog outside in an ongoing owl watch. The stars are unbelievably bright at 3:00 a.m. and we’re met with a moon dog around the waxing orb in the northwest winter sky.
Coincidence, perhaps? Or a very smart and intuitive Apso in tune with her pack …