Talking of transplants, our dog — Nutmeg — a transplant on our farm, helps to keep me energized. The transplant center should make sure every transplant patient has a Nutmeg as a means of getting adequate exercise.
She was a gift, of sorts, and now we know why the previous owner was so generous. For one thing, she’s a canine nut-case. But we also discovered that Nutmeg has a particular talent and penchant for rolling in cow manure. We call it Cowfume -- FurFume -- Eau De Bovine. We’ve been trying to come up with names for it.
Cow-nel No. 5.
Of course, Nutty, pictured to the left, thinks it’s fashionable to have brown highlights in her blond locks and absolutely loves advertising her fashionable new fragrance.
Mischief is her daily goal. She’s tall enough to stand on hind legs and eat anything left on the stove or kitchen counter. I was brushing my teeth last week when she brought my plastic lunch bag containing my peanut butter toast and apple upstairs to snack while I spit toothpaste and screamed at a level audible in the next two zip codes.
And she’s not completely housebroken, but refuses to go outside when it’s dark or raining. Absolutely no knowledge of household etiquette. She thinks she belongs on the couch, especially after donning her favorite fragrance. And she thinks every face is a lollipop.
Anything organic — and a whole lot that isn’t — is a very likely candidate to end up in the pit of her stomach.
What got me thinking about Nutmeg -- the dog not the spice -- is what occurred after my last episode of low blood sugar last April. I described it in an earlier blog.
I searched the Internet for a better way to detect low blood sugar before the critical point, and I found one.
It’s possible nowadays to teach dogs how to detect low blood sugar in their owners. When they do they scratch at you or even lick you before the level gets too low. And they continue with this behavior until the person with diabetes consumes some quick-acting carbohydrates and the blood sugar rises.
I applied online for such a dog, but I’m sure I’m low on the list. But just as there is great competition for kidneys and pancreases for transplantation, the demand for hypoglycemic-detecting hounds likewise exceeds supply.
Such dogs have the same rights as seeing-eye dogs. You take them to work, inside stores, and anywhere else you care to adventure. I could see a dog sitting next to me in the newsroom occasionally sniffing me.
That point became even more poignant when Dr. Amit Basu, the transplant surgeon at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute who was part of my evaluation team stressed that low blood sugar, especially for a brittle diabetic, as I am, can lead to a quick death if control or circumstances go awry. I’ve known that for 43 years, but last April’s episode of being alone and unconscious for four hours makes it all the more pertinent to the discussion
So I’ve been thinking. What are the prospects of Nutmeg learning how to detect low blood sugar? Maybe I could teach her.
(To the left is proof that she has a good nose. Kernel, our 15-year-old Papillon, remains in charge and is making sure Nutmeg does not violate too many house rules.)
Having a hypoglycemia-detecting pooch is an interesting consideration, but the prospects are unlikely I can teach her how to detect low blood sugar. She already scratches at me and licks me. How would I ever know that she actually meant business.
And with her penchant for wearing Cow-logne, Nutmeg never would be able to detect the faint, gentle scent of hypoglycemia.