Woof, I am Havana, a greyhound, and I am in training to soon help people with diabetes (type 1) notice and thus treat especially low blood sugar levels as early as possible.
My big family of seven siblings and I were rescued from a township in Cape Town, South Africa.
One of my sisters and I were then taken in by Honey’s Garden, the first NGO in South Africa to train medical service dogs, and one that has done so for years. Our NGO grants special attention to street dogs, who are given a second chance. My sister and I had the innocent dog look even then.
My canine friends in training and I live with foster families who support us and with professional trainers who help us daily through our journey of learning what to do, when, and how. While I specifically have to use my sense of smell to detect when my person’s scent changes e.g. due to low blood sugar levels, other dog friends of mine focus more on learning how to move objects and how to bring them to their person and so on.
Honey’s Garden is an NGO and has been training dogs for several years. Special attention is granted to street dogs, who are given a second chance.
Did you know that any breed can become a service dog? It does not have to be a purebred Labrador. After completing the training, we are placed in homes within South Africa as well as abroad. It takes me about 2 years to finish my training – then I have to pass a final exam before I can start my real work. Where I will go, I do not yet know. When it comes to our trainers’ work, training locations, material, toys, food, and veterinary costs, Honey’s Garden needs financial support and always appreciates a helping hand.
At MSS I am already allowed to come to the office from time to time to learn early enough how to behave in everyday human situations. Quite boring that they sit on their chairs every day and stare at a box? But at least I get their attention instantly when I go to greet everyone at their desks.