Diabetic Alert Dog, Finn

 

 

Finn is a Diabetic Alert Dog and the first medial service animal sponsored by SFSD. Finn belongs to Courtney Sussman, daughter of our President & SFSD Founder, Jamie Sussman. Courtney has been battling Type 1 Diabetes since two weeks after her 8th birthday. Courtney was diagnosed with bilateral neuropathy in her lower extremities at the young age of only 10, and has had many ups and downs over the years. As she grew older, she was no longer able to feel her high and low blood sugars, resulting in dangerously low blood sugars as well as critical highs. At the age of 22, Courtney was paired with Finn as her future medical alert dog. Finn lived in Arizona with his trainer and underwent just about a year of training, which included basic and advanced obedience, scent and alert training. Finn was brought to Pennsylvania in July, 2018 and has been with Courtney ever since. Finn can detect low and high blood sugars through scent. He is trained to alert (which he does by pawing, licking and jumping onto Courtneys lap with his front paws) for blood sugars below 80 and over 150, as well as trending in either direction. Meaning if her blood sugar is rapidly increasing or decreasing, even if it hasn't hit a critical number yet. This is to help prevent critical highs and lows. Finn is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and can legally accompany Courtney into all public places. He is very well trained to ignore other humans and animals, leaving him to be able to perform his task proficiently regardless of location. Finn has been a live saving addition to Courtneys life!

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