We lost another of the first DADs that Wildrose placed. Her name was Lucy and she belonged to Valerie, who posted a tribute on Facebook:
My Dearest Lucy,
I’m not really a dog person so it was very surprising even to myself when I decided after one semester of Physical Therapy school that I needed a diabetic alert service dog to prevent nighttime hypoglycemic episodes/seizures or I was not going to be able to continue school. It’s a path I started down that has forever changed my life. It’s what brought me to you.
24/7 for 6 years, with a nose bump or a gentle wave you faithfully alerted to me whether my blood sugars were going up or down. Then, before retiring to being our family dog. You helped pull me along when I was temporarily confined to a wheelchair. You were by my side when I graduated with my physical therapy degree, got engaged, and even walked down the aisle in my wedding. You started my first job, at Mercy Hospital, with me. We had to put an obnoxiously large “Do not Distract” sign on your back because everyone could see how amazing you were and they wanted to interact with you, too.
You saved my life, kept me out of the hospital, and helped me to have stable blood sugars so I could safely get pregnant and for that I’m eternally grateful. You made me a much more patient and less anxious mom. From the day that little baby Callista came home from the hospital you knew you had a new friend and someone else to protect. As Callie started to climb, you patiently laid there as a makeshift jungle gym. And as you grew together, you both loved playing under blankets, time alone together in the backyard, and eating any of Callie’s food you could get in your mouth. Your name was Callie’s first word. You got hugged and kissed before every one of Callie’s naps and bedtimes.
You toured Las Vegas, hiked the Grand Canyon, had been to Saguaro National Park, canoed in Green Bay, went on many tent camping trips, and enjoyed Daytona Beach. You’re one of very few dogs who rode The Maid of the Mist through Niagara Falls as well as visited the launch pads at The Kennedy Space Center.
If anyone thinks you were just my dog, they’d be wrong. Cory met you the day after I did and he’s trained you, cared for you, and loved you just as much as I have. We had to say goodbye to you on Friday. We are heartbroken but we will forever be thankful for the blessing of you. I love you, Lucy and I’m a lot lost without you.
Love you always,
P.S. And because you could never be replaced Callie thinks our next pet should be penguins from the Milwaukee Zoo.