Diabetes, both types 1 and 2, can be very stressful and very hard to live with at times. Often times I find myself feeling a bit down or overwhelmed, especially when I get no sleep due to my Dexcom CGM alarming me every 30 minutes or so that I have low blood sugars. But when my diabetes is making life especially hard, I can always count on one thing to cheer me up or at least take my mind off the diabetes related struggles: my dog Beans.
Beans is 5 and 1/2 years old and I rescued him from a shelter when he was 2 years old. He is a very relaxed dog, but still has bouts of puppiness (yes, it’s a word) especially for treats, toys, and going on walks. He is my best friend and has been there for me for break ups, stress, and now my new-found diabetes. He is my dog, but he might as well be the family dog because everyone is so enamored and in love with him. So he isn’t trained for medical alerts or anything of the sort, but he is the best coping mechanism that I know of and I count of him to cheer me up. It is rare to find something/someone that you just break into a smile when you see them do something that is not out of the ordinary: sleep, sit, yawn, tilt their head. And I am very lucky to have that with my Beanies.
(A demon in the blanket? No just Beans)
One thing we love to do together is to go on walks. I try to take him on at least a 30 minute walk everyday (work and weather permitting), and sometimes we go on longer adventures. These walks help me to get a little more exercise as well as help bring my blood sugar levels down a bit after lunch (just being around him lowers my stress levels, ergo keeps my blood sugars down). The walks also allow Beans to get exercise and burn off some of that puppy energy he some how accumulates as well, which is essential for a dog to live a long healthy life (just like humans). Going on walks is one of his most favorite things and will jump passed shoulder height (no small feat because I am 6 ft 1) the moment I touch his leash.
(Lounging after a walk)
Another one of his favorite things is to watch movies, well sleep through movies but whatever. My parents have a theater room at their house, and the moment Beans senses that it’s movie time he rushes up the stairs and waits outside the theater for everyone to get seated. Then he promptly picks a vacant seat and sleeps like a baby through movies; even crazy action movies with tons of explosions and machine gun fire.
(Hiding from a thunder storm)
As I mentioned before, he is my best friend I wouldn’t know what to do with out him. He has helped me cope with my recently diagnosed diabetes just by being present and constant in my life. If life or diabetes gets me down or frustrated all I need to do is turn to Beans, take him for a walk, play with him, interact as to get my mind off my troubles. Beans is very easy to get along with and has a very chill personality (probably gets it from his master). He listens well and is never wild or out of control. I love him dearly and I wish everyone could have a Beans in their lives. Whether it be a dog, cat, other pet, or even an actual human, every one needs a Beans.