Luke, a 38-year-old man in Los Angeles, California, received a very special delivery today of his very own Diabetic Alert Service Dog from Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers. Based in Madison, Virginia, Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, or “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially-bred and trained dogs for people of all ages that struggle with living with invisible disabilities such as Autism, PTSD, Seizure Disorders, or in the case of Luke—Type 1 Diabetes. SDWR has hundreds of working service dogs placed around the globe and is currently serving approximately 1,000 families.
Baldwin, a labrador retriever Diabetic Alert Dog, has already received countless hours of training through SDWR’s service dog raiser program where volunteers raise puppies in training for approximately one year. The dogs and raisers must follow through the foundation and skill set training provided through SDWR trainers at the facility in Virginia.
Baldwin is also an honored graduate of the SDWR Fallen Officer Puppy Program. The Fallen Officer Puppy Program, also known as “FOPP,” is an initiative by SDWR to pay respect to the legacy of service by fallen American police who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Baldwin is named in honor of fallen hero Sergeant David M. Baldwin of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado who was killed when his police motorcycle was struck head-on by another vehicle. Baldwin’s work as a Diabetic Alert Service Dog with Luke will carry on in memoriam of Sergeant Baldwin’s life of service before self.
Luke was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 7-years-old. Luke hopes that a service dog will be able to alert him when he is sleeping and in between checks. His biggest issue is that late night hypoglycemia affects his ability to wake up in the middle of the night. “I am an Emergency Room Physician and work random hours making diabetic control difficult though doable. The main uncontrollable bad outcome is late night hypoglycemia while sleeping,” says Luke, Diabetic Alert Dog recipient. Luke is optimistic that with the addition of a service dog it will help make his life a little easier and provide a sense of independence and security.
SDWR uses a proprietary scent training method to teach Diabetic Alert Dogs to detect fluctuations in blood sugar that fall outside of a handler’s healthy range. Since Baldwin is a service dog and covered under laws in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, he will be able to accompany Luke everywhere—from grocery shopping, to the park, even on vacations.
During the upcoming 18 months, SDWR will return to Luke’s home every 3-4 months to continue working on Baldwin’s customized training, follow up training and training the human to make a successful team and public access certification. This certification can only be given to Luke after a progression of hard work and dedication to the SDWR training program. This training program is what sets SDWR apart from other nonprofit service dog organizations.
Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure…there’s a dog.” To make a donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, www.sdwr.org.
To learn more about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs visit www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/diabetic-alert.
To learn more about SDWR’s Fallen Officer Puppy Program visit www.sdwr.org/fallen-officer-puppy-program/.