About 5 years ago, I was diagnosised with Diabetes. Not something that was earth stopping, but I sure did like my sweets: candy, chocolate milk, cookies, pies; the general assortment of goodies, not to mention potato chips and all those things that turn right to sugar once we eat them.
The doctors and I talked a lot about the illness, and the fact that I needed to "test" my blood sugar on a regular basis. It was simple, they suggested. Just get one of those little kits, and stick a needle in your finger. One drop of blood later, and the little device tells you what your blood sugar ratio is. Well, I am not afraid of a needle or two, so I thought this will be a simple thing.
Little did I know, after just a few days of "testing my blood", my fingers started getting infected, and all red. They were very sore. I moved to another finger, and again the same thing. Oh, the soreness would go away in a few day, but my hands became somewhat useless to me. I had open sores, and it was difficult to find a place where I could, yet again, poke myself with a needle and get the required blood.
The doctor took one look at my fingers and said that I must be doing something wrong. I offered up a finger and said, "Then you do it!" I had been using the alcohol swabs, taking due caution to make sure everything was perfectly clean and dis-infected before I started with the needle.
After a day, the spot where the Doctor had poked me became inflamed and once again infected. I went back and he was very surprised that my reaction would become so severe. We tried several different approaches but none resulted in an effective way to get blood out without becoming infected.
He did worry about the infection and the fact that infections lead to other complications and, for a diabetic, that was not a good situtation. There was the potential that, if the fingers got too infected, we might have the potential later on for the loss of a finger.
One day, my doctor suggested an alternative. He had been reading about "medical dogs" and how people were experimenting with dogs that can alter their owners to various health issues. Dogs that can sense heart attacks, seizures, and other medical things. He offered that maybe we should look into one of these alternative methods. He was also a dog lover, and thought it might offer me a way to have my blood tested while not getting my fingers infected.
Over the next few weeks, I started looking for a dog. I also did a lot of study on the internet regarding schools that could help with training.
KoKopelli, (KoKo) came into my life. One Friday, I went to a local Pets store, and there was this little 4 pound Yorkie. He was playing in his little cage, and after asking one of the store employees, KoKo and I sat in a little booth and played. I liked him, but the price was way out of my budget.
I left the store, but on the Friday of the next week, on a whim, I went back to the Pet store, and he was still there. We played again for another hour, and I still felt he was way out of my budget. So, again, I left without him, but I wondered if I was making a mistake leaving him there.
The third Friday, I went back again, and to my surprise, he was still there. I did notice several other Yorkies had come and gone, but KoKo was waiting, playing with his little toy. We spent another hour, and I again (although it was much harder this third time) got up and left, without KoKo.
Over the following week, I realized I was making a mistake not getting him, but with my budget he would have taken a lot more than I could really afford. Friday came and I went back to the pet store. There he was, sitting in his little cage, looking out the window, and I do believe he recognized me when I got close. He was happy, wagging his little tail, and excited with the prospect of finally getting a family.