Nicole Greenlund & Diabetes & Mobility Assist Dog Tuesday
Author: Joy Miller
Nicole Greenlund from Otsego, Minn. is a young mom of three active children, ages nine, seven, and four. Her life is full and busy. Her life is also busy managing multiple health issues, including Type 1 Diabetes, and Nicole was struggling with frequently “bottoming out” from low blood sugar levels. A big reality check happened when Nicole found herself giving her children instructions on how to call emergency responders if they would happen to find mommy unconscious; that was not a responsibility she wanted to give them and knew something needed to change.
Enter Diabetes and Mobility Assist Dog Tuesday, a two-and-a-half-year-old Goldador (Golden Retriever/Labrador cross). Tuesday is trained to alert Nicole to low blood sugar; she alerts Nicole by nudging her with her nose. After Tuesday alerts Nicole to her low blood sugar she can bring Nicole her glucose meter, juice, emergency phone, or even another person to help. Tuesday is also a big help with Nicole’s mobility issues due to Myositis. Myositis is a collection of diseases that share the common elements of muscle weakness and/or pain along with an autoimmune component. Nicole says, “It’s a very real struggle every day with pain, weakness, and debilitating fatigue, so having Tuesday to help me manage my diabetes has been a godsend! She helps keep me on track.” Tuesday helps Nicole with everyday chores around the house, such as laundry and picking up toys. “She loves to help and be useful to me,” says Nicole.
“Tuesday also helps me stand up when my muscles are too weak.”
Nicole says that the biggest adjustment for the family was in understanding that Tuesday is a service dog there to help her, not a family pet. But she says, “Having Tuesday around has given us all peace of mind that is so calming and welcoming. The kids have learned so much. They are very protective of the two of us if someone tries to pet Tuesday when we are in public.”
“I feel like Tuesday belongs with us and can’t imagine her not with me.”
Tuesday goes everywhere with Nicole – getting groceries, doctors appointments at Mayo clinic, her son’s football games, the girl’s gymnastics, etc. Tuesday is so quiet and well-behaved that people don’t even realize she’s there – she’s very vigilant and doesn’t get distracted.
Nicole’s advice to others thinking about applying for an assistance dog? Without a doubt, she encourages people to pursue the opportunity. “She has improved my life greatly. Having Tuesday’s help is worth every ounce of energy that has gone into training with her!”
Donors and supporters like you have helped make Nicole and Tuesday a wonderful team. Nicole says, “I feel so blessed for everything Can Do Canines has done for us. Tuesday has changed my life! I know that as a volunteer, you do this from the bottom of your heart. I appreciate everything you’ve done for Tuesday and for me!”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser – Jennifer Schoberg
Special Thanks – The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Correctional Institution – Sandstone