Diabetic Alert Team | Toronto, ON
Gwyneth is an eight-year-old girl living with her mom and sister in Toronto, ON. Gwyneth loves academics and the arts, and aspires to be a model but also lives with type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness. After the family read an article about a girl who received a Diabetic Alert Dog, they began their research and found Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. On her 10th birthday, she was allowed to apply and that’s how Gwyneth met Vicky.
Gwyneth loves animals and was so excited to have a Dog Guide match, “When this opportunity came along I knew that it would change my life and give me more possibilities and provide me with a wonderful animal friend.”
Vicky opens up a new world of possibilities and independence for Gwyneth. She is able to feel comfortable and safe and is also able to count on her support daily at school. Before Vicky, Gywneth’s family would worry about her health and safety outside of the home or at her friends’ houses. Now with Vicky by her side she is able to experience a normal childhood. Vicky is specially trained to detect sudden drops in Gwyneth’s blood sugar through scent and alert them so that they can ingest something sweet. She is also able to go get help if needed.
Vicky is a loving and playful poodle and, along with her training, is a best friend and a lifesaving companion. Gwyneth and Vicky have an incredible bond: “Vicky is extremely smart, obedient, and skillful. I am able to trust her and she is very attentive to me. She fits in to my life perfectly. I feel like I have had her forever!” says Gwyneth.
What’s the one thing you (Gwyneth) would say to encourage people to donate money in support?
“I would say to really think about how it changes people’s lives and also how a service dog could save people’s lives. It takes a lot of work and training to produce such an amazing service dog and their skills are miraculous. These dogs are also very expensive and therefore in order that people can receive these amazing animals, we need compassionate individuals to donate – and as they say, ‘every penny counts’.”
Anything else you (Gwyneth) want to add?
“I love her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”