Monday, December 24, 2007

A Happy Dog Blog for the Holidays

Perusing through a People magazine at the gym the other day, I came across an uplifting and fascinating article about dogs that I want to share with you. Some dogs can serve a purpose other than being cute. Now, we all know that blind and visually-impaired people sometimes use guide dogs to increase mobility and promote independence. That, by itself, is enough to love dogs. But apparently, dogs can help people with other conditions too.

For instance, the organization Dogs4Diabetics "provides quality medical alert assistance dogs to youth and adults who are insulin-dependent type 1 diabetics." Dogs can be trained "to identify, and more importantly, act upon the subtle changes that hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) creates in body chemistry, changes undetectable to their human companions." Dogs can actually sense changes in blood sugar before the person with diabetes senses the change. The People magazine article included a story of one woman with diabetes whose service dog would wake her up in the middle of the night if it sensed her blood sugar changing.

Anyway, there hasn't been a lot of research studying the extent to which this phenomenon works, but it's a fascinating idea nonetheless. Here's another article about it.

But the more important question is this: would a cat be remotely capable of such a thing?

I think we all know the answer to that...

Dogs 2, Cats 4.

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