Please meet sweet Comet, who lives with T1D Elizabeth, 2 cats (Bella who is 10 and Clover who is 16-ish) and mom & dad. You will be smitten by Comet’s eyes … and precious Elizabeth too! I know I was!!!
Comet has a sad beginning and a happy ending. As you’ll see, Elizabeth also likes to do photography of her dog! Let her know if you ever want to see pix of Comet!!!
I am a type one diabetic, diagnosed almost 4 years ago in February of 2017, my senior year of high school. My dog’s name is Comet and we also have two cats, me, my mom and my dad in the house. I got Comet in May of 2015 for my 16th birthday. My dad surprised me one day when he found a dog breeder and we went to check him out. We were unaware of the breeding situation going on at the time, but Comet came from a backyard breeder. The dogs were housed in a greenhouse in the backyard in fenced-off cages in groups, hiding in the corner in a box when I entered their space. The owner admitted to us that Comet had never seen grass when we let him out into the yard. He was six months old. Having had almost no interaction with humans and no interaction with the outside world, he was severely socially stunted. His only interaction with humans during his first 6 months was with the man who took care of his litter, who would shoo the puppies with a shovel.
We’ve shared our lives with Comet for 5-1/2 years, mostly doing everything and anything to make his life the best it can be. We started slow, unable to get a collar or harness on him without him having a panic attack, kicking and squirming until he got it off and then went to cower. We got him outside again and were able to start taking him on walks. We had people come over to meet him, but he was very, very scared of them.
Right around the time I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, we started to work together more as a team. We started to get out of the house more together, practicing obedience and getting exposure therapy at the local outdoor mall. We also began to walk with a local dog walking group, which had a huge impact on him. Being around the other dogs nudged him out of his shell a ton and helped him to connect with dogs and, more importantly, other people.
He began loving the walks and learning to trust and love the people we walk with. Now, he goes on walks with the dogs all the time, and has many dog and human friends. He loves to go into the pet friendly businesses and get snuggles and love from all of the workers. He goes with my dad to the office and gets love from everyone who works there.
Comet is now able to work as a therapy dog and visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities, to help people feel safe and happy, just as he did for me when I was first diagnosed with T1D. We help each other. I help him feel brave in new situations by showing him new things and encouraging him in uncomfortable and scary situations. He helps me by being my partner in crime when I want to go on a walk or go somewhere pet friendly and I am nervous because of my diabetes. I am very afraid of severe low blood sugars but I know that if he is there with me, I feel more safe. He knows some at-home service dog tasks such as “pressure” where he lays across my legs, and “hug” where he puts his head on my chest or leg. Those techniques help me feel safer and more grounded when dealing with a scary blood sugar episode. By helping each other, we can help others, like people who are in a nursing home, children in therapy, and other dogs who are in the same overly fearful position Comet once was.
THANK YOU for sharing, Elizabeth!!!!!!!!
My best four-legged pals, Clover (left) and Bella … LIFE IS GOOD!
Did I mention … I love my life and I love Elizabeth?!?!?!?