On June 7, 2013, Pretty Girl was diagnosed with canine diabetes.
On July 5, 2014, Pretty Girl went to heaven.
As a “mommy” to 5 dogs at the time of diagnosis, the news of being diagnosed with diabetes was hard to process. I was scared because now I needed to learn how to give insulin injections and care for her differently. “I’m not a nurse,” I thought. Turns out I was wrong. Our lives turned into a regimented schedule surrounded by her feeding times, alerts for injections, monitoring her food intake, vomiting, urination, and activity. I chose to be engrossed in the process of ensuring she was cared for as if she was a human!
I started a “tracking” notebook so that I could document when she was fed, when she was injected, any behavioral issues, or side effects, and would highlight random changes. But what I lacked was a way to visually see her progression or digression. It was just a notebook on the kitchen counter. It didn’t have the capabilities to really SHOW us and our vet what really was going on with her care.
If I had a better tool that wasn’t pen to paper, that could track symptoms, exercise, urination, feeding times and amounts, and injections, I would have been able to have a better handle on her diabetes. In diabetic humans, they can share with you how they are feeling. They can tell you that they feel excessively thirsty or feel like they are constantly having to go to the bathroom or their tummy aches. Animals can’t do this.
Shortly after her diagnosis, she went blind. Watching her decline to blindness was incredibly difficult. Our lives again changed to revolve around her care. We learned about “mapping,” which is when a blind animal basically bumps around her living environment creating a mental map of the living space, creating familiar paths so that they can find their way around. Pretty Girl was OUTSTANDING at this. It was amazing to watch her walk the same path every day to do the things she did.
Our household couldn’t ebb and flow as a normal household would. You couldn’t move the coffee table, or leave the vacuum out. She would run into it. We worked hard to maintain her map for her. As she declined further, she was more confused and lost her map. It is painful to watch her slam into a wall or table. She had cuts and bruises on her skin from hitting things during her daily journey to and from wherever she was going.
She would sneak up on you like a ninja because she wouldn’t know where you were and we were tripping over her. So I got the idea to tie jingle bells to her collar and I to my shoes. This way we knew she was heading towards us and around our feet and she would know when mommy was close by. Alas where the name Little Bell comes from–both her story and the app alerts (bells).
For 10 months she bumped around with bells on her collar until she went to heaven.
We dedicate this app, Little Bell, to our Pretty Girl and to other owners and their pets that want to care more precisely and accurately for their babies.
With all our love,
Mommy, Daddy, Colossus, Vinny, Bean, and Max
#wemissyou #prettygirlforever #littlebell