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Old 04-06-2010, 01:27 PM
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ozzi ozzi is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Ipswich, MA
Posts: 619
Default Advice from Kevin and Ozzie

I completely understand how you feel! In the beginning, Ozzi was very fidgety and let me know he did NOT want to be tested. It really was a struggle at first, and honestly, while I have no specific words of advice, I can tell you that he has gotten used to it, and doesn't mind it much now. By the sixth or seventh poke in one day, he is getting tired of it, but still lets me do it.

I don't know if this will help, but here's exactly what I do. I give Ozzi a cube of chicken every time I test him. He loves the chicken, so I make sure to take it out of the refrigerator and place it on the counter so he can "smell" it, since he cannot see. Then I tell him that I'm going to do his "test" (the meaning of which he has come to understand) and then he'll get some chicken. I have always used the word "test" before sticking him, so he'll know that word. Ozzi doesn't like surprises, and I don't like to surprise him either, so I tell him exactly what's about to happen, and he really does understand it. He actually now gets up when I tell him to come into the kitchen for his test!

I also talk to him the entire time...this might sound nuts, but somehow Ozzi is either comforted or distracted by my voice. I don't know if it's the blindness, but it does somehow either relax him when I talk, or it allows him to think about something other than the test. Sometimes it takes 30-45 seconds (especially if I have to poke him a second time due to no blood), and you cannot believe the things I discuss with him...world news, the weather...lol...anything to keep talking. I also hold him close to me. Since I test his elbow calluses, I put my arm around him, partially to hold him still, and hopefully it makes him feel more secure. I find this really does help him.

As soon as the test is done, I praise him (I literally clap my hands and say 'good boy...Ozzi had his test" and he "dances" around while I get the chicken. I don't know if this will help you with Gretel, but it works well with Ozzi.

One other thing is that I did several 'spot checks' in the beginning to see how he was running and to get him used to testing, before taking on a whole curve. As you may have seen in my very early posts, I was scared to death to test him, and now I have really become comfortable with it. Is there anyone at home who can help you? I think it would be great if someone was there to help hold her while you do the test. It might be an easier way to start if that's possible, and I think it would make you feel better in that you can concentrate on performing the testing and not worry about her squirming, if she's like Ozzi was in the beginning.

I wish I were in your area, I'd be happy to help you out!!
Kevin
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Ozzi, Dalmatian/Australian Cattle Dog mix, 12/03/1996 - 08/15/2010. Diabetes, blind from cataracts, cauda equina syndrome, and arthritis of the spine and knees. Daddy loves you Ozzi

Last edited by k9diabetes; 04-06-2010 at 06:46 PM. Reason: change title