Friday, April 20, 2007

Going... going.... gone

Hi everyone,

We are leaving to move to our new house tomorrow! It is taking us four whole days to get there! We get to sleep at a caravan park, a hotel and on a boat!!! Almost everything is packed and Mum said that I have to be quick so she can pack up the computer.

Last Sunday we had a party here and my cousins, Aunties, Uncles and Nannan came to say goodbye to us. Mum took lots of photos, but not many of Carbi and me this time!

This is Dad and Laura
Mum and Mia

Pop, Mia and Laura
Jack and Carbi
Laura wearing Dads shoes, sunglasses and hat
On Monday I did two assessments at uni. They were pretty easy. Mum called me a freeloader because she said I was to do the talking in one of the assessments but I didn't. I don't understand why she thinks I'm a freeloader... it's hard work lying still and being quiet in class!!

On Wednesday, Mum and I had our last day at uni. We still have uni work to do, but we don't have to go to uni for it. I learnt how to measure a step to put in a ramp... if any of the doggies that read this want me to work out a ramp for them just let me know!

This is my uni class... Mum doesn't like the photo of her!!I have to go now, Mum's getting cranky cause she needs to pack the computer up and she also didn't want me to put that photo there so I'd better publish before she notices!!

Aramis xx

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mr Tough Guy?

Carbi always tries to pretend that he is 'Mr Tough Guy'... but look at how we found him sleeping when he thought noone was looking!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Silly Hooman

Look what my Mum did to me today!!!

Silly Hooman!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

When it rains...

Hi again,
Mum sometimes says "when it rains, your poor" or something like that. I don't really understand it because it's a silly human saying, but I think it applys in this situation - where I didn't blog for ages and have now done four posts in one day!

Ages and ages ago I told you that Carbi and I graduated from brown class to green class at training. Here is a picture of me with my certificate and ribbon.

I also wanted to tell you about us being famous again! Carbi and Dad are in the March-June 2007 edition of Paws and Claws. This is the article...

Eight years ago when James Yarker was 14 years old, he was diagnosed with having Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes. Over the years he has experienced countless hypoglycaemic episodes (or hypos), most of which occur when he is asleep and require medical intervention. Experiencing hypos during the night presents a serious risk because he has no way of sensing an impending hypo; there is a chance of falling into a coma. James says this has always been a major concern for him and his family.

“A few years ago when I was driving my car I experienced a hypo without any warning signals,” he said. “I lost consciousness at the wheel, crossed over to the wrong side of the highway and crashed into an oncoming car. “ James explains. “I decided then that there had to be a better way of detecting and treating hypos that would keep me and those around me safe.” This is where seven month-old chinese crested powder-puff Carbi arrived.

He is a dog in training provided by Paws for Diabetics Inc. for diabetes hypo alert. Paws for Diabetics Inc. is a charitable, nonprofit organisation of dedicated volunteers involved in the training and placement of diabetic alert dogs. These dogs are the latest tool in diabetes management, giving their owners warning well in advance of an impending hypoglycaemic episode which allows for prompt treatment and prevention. A hypoglycaemic attack left untreated can lead to coma and even death, so these dogs are real life-savers! Diabetes hypo alert dogs are especially useful for people living alone, or parents who worry about their children having a hypo, especially at night. These dogs are trained to wake the diabetic before they become unconscious whilst asleep. If the diabetic person will not wake, they are trained to alert someone else in the house.

“I also suffer from other medical conditions that can make it hard to control my blood sugar levels, so Carbi is invaluable,” James said. Carbi comes from a bloodline of naturally alerting dogs, beginning when he was just 8 weeks old and continually improving by alerting James by biting his fingers and growling, and not leaving James’ side until James has had eats something to help raise his blood sugar.

Paws for Diabetics Inc. places dogs with recipients who meet the criteria. The recipients are then given extensive training on handling and caring for an assistance dog. Carbi has the same access rights as a guide dog, receiving similar training as guide dogs and also rely on donations to fund this training. Currently Carbi attends work with James at UnitingCare Springwood. “As work can sometimes get very hectic and I can lose track of time, having Carbi at work allows me to relax as I know that he will let me know before I experience I hypo,” James explains. Further information can be obtained by accessing the Paws for Diabetics Inc. website,, or calling (07) 46843414. Donations can be sent to The Treasurer, Paws for Diabetics, 14 Boatwright Ave. Lugarno NSW 2210. Membership costs are $10.00 per annum, or $15.00 per family. Membership forms are available from the website. For more information about the adventures of Carbi and his brother Aramis, please visit :

AND we are all on the cover of the Diabetes Australia - Victoria membership magazine Diabetes Today. This is the article...

Super pooches saving lives

James Yarker was involved in a near fatal car crash as a result of a hypoglycaemic attack. His wife Liz embarked upon a search to find someone to help James to ensure that this kind of accident would not happen again.

After a lot of research and hours searching on the internet, Liz eventually met Lorraine Roulston at Paws for Diabetics Inc (PFD), a charitable non-profit organisation of volunteers who train dogs to alert their diabetic owner when they are having a ‘hypo’.

In August 2006, Lorraine introduced a Chinese Crested Powderpuff called Carbi (short for carbohydrate) to James, who has had type 1 diabetes since he was 14 years old.

Liz says Carbi is a lifesaver. "He had already saved James from two night time hypos by growling and biting his fingers to wake him up.

“It wasn’t long before we knew when James was having a hypo, because Carbi would sit and glare at James and just growl.”

Lorraine, who also has diabetes, says these ‘hypo’ dogs are the latest tool in management as they give their owners advance warning of an impending hypo.

“All dogs have the potential to be hypo-alert dogs, especially if they are young or closely attached to the person with diabetes. We usually use pure-bred puppies that are toy-sized as they are generally easier to take with you and are quick learners.”

Lorraine’s mission to find out more about hypo-alerting dogs began after her Japanese Chin, Saki, woke her up one night by scratching and whining at her. Lorraine was going into a ‘hypo’. “At first I thought it was a coincidence or that Saki must be psychic, but when my diabetes suddenly because unstable and I started having more frequent ‘hypos’, I began to see the pattern in Saki’s behaviour.”

While there is currently no scientific research to prove the exact reason why dogs can detect a hypo, Lorraine says it has to do with a chemical alteration in the body that results in a change of scent which the dogs can pick up and consequently react to.

Not all breeds of dogs have the temperament required to complete the public access test which enables the dog to become an accredited assistance dog like the seeing eye dogs. An owner may have to train several dogs before finding the right dog for the work that is required.

Lorraine says hypo-alert dogs help to increase the independence, safety and mobility of people with diabetes, and also their carers. For Liz Yarker, having Carbi has meant that she can now leave James at home without fear of him having a hypo. She can rest well knowing that Carbi is there to keep him alert.

You can check out Carbi’s online blog at

If you would like to know more about training your dog or receiving a puppy to be trained, please contact Paws for Diabetics Inc. by calling (07) 4684 3414 or visit

Goodnight from your famous friend!
Aramis xx

Aramis - unofficial diabetes educator!

I have decided that as part of my Public Relations work for Paws for Diabetics Inc I should also become an unofficial diabetes educator and tell you all about diabetes. This post is going to be about blood glucose level checks. Diabetics have to check their blood glucose level and then have food or insulin if needed. To do this they need to use a thing called a glucometre (metre).

The meter comes in a case that has spots to hold the finger pricker (pricker), testing strips (strips), needle, spare needles for the pricker, and other stuff.

To check your level, you need to take the pricker and a strip (shown here in the blue stuff!).

You take the strip out of the packet, and put it into the metre. You prick your finger with the little needle inside the pricker (to do this you only put it on your finger and press a button and the needle shoots out and pricks your finger). Then you get a bit of blood and put it on the end of the strip. Then the machine counts down and shows your blood glucose level (BGL). I got Mum to check her level to take the next picture (she isn't diabetic by the way).

Hopefully, the metre will say that your level is somewhere around 6. If it doesn't you need to eat (if lower) and have insulin (if higher). Dad has an insulin pump that he uses to give himself insulin. This means that he has one needle every three days, as opposed to four or more needles each day.

This is an insulin pump. It attaches to Dad using that tube. It pumps insulin into Dad all the time (very little bits) and then when needed Dad puts the level from the metre into the pump and it gives him extra insulin to get his level down.

I hope this wasn't too confusing... stay tuned for my next lesson on hypos!

Aramis - unofficial diabetes educator

Demarco's Drawing

A few posts ago I introduced my new friend Demarco to you. Demarco has agreed to help us out by writing and drawing some things for our blog.

Demarco sent me this picture he did a while ago...

This picture shows what having diabetes means to Demarco. As you can see there are pictures of needles, lollies, fruit, Doctor's, Hypos and finger pricks. For any doggies out there who don't know about what diabetics need to do... make sure you read my next post!!

Babysitting and packing

Hi all,
Firstly, Thanks for all your good wishes for Carbi. He didn't end up having his operation. He was sick the night before and so Mum and Dad had to cancel the op, and today, his tooth fell out all on it's own! So no operation for him!

My Aunty Jules has been sick. She had to go into hospital last Saturday... which meant that my cousins came to stay. This is Tommy, he is six.

And this is Laura, she is two.

They look cute and innocent don't they?? Well, they're not!! They told me to go away when they came near me and then they tried to pat me when I didn't want them too! I wasn't allowed on the lounge if they were, and we missed training because they were here. They have gone home now, Aunty Jules came out of hospital on Thursday.

We have started to pack for our move to our new house in Tasmania. As you can see, I have been supervising the whole process.

We leave in exactly two weeks! We get to go on a big boat which looks like this:

And then we will be at our house which looks like this!

It's exciting to be packing but sad because it means we are going a long way away from Nana and Pop, and Uncle Dan, and all our other friends!!

Mum and I are still studying hard for our Masters, but we have decided to go part time for a while and will finish at the end of next year now.

Bye for now!