Thomas Griffen and ECAD Service Dog Sterling have been together since 2016.
Sterling helps Tom in many ways, but recently, when Tom's medical equipment failed, Sterling was there to save his life.
Meet Thomas Griffen and his ECAD Service Dog Sterling
Sterling, my ECAD Service Dog, is a lifesaver – literally! Sterling and I have been together since October 2016. He is such a fabulous Service Dog that I have become used to his assisting me in all the ways I need. But recently, what he did was positively lifesaving.
I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Type I Diabetes, so Sterling assists me with my balance and reacts in certain helpful ways if my insulin pump alarm goes off due to a change in my blood sugar levels, especially if I’m asleep. Sterling’s presence, and the security he gives me, allows my quality of life to be maintained. For me, that includes camping.
The recent lifesaving incident occurred when I was camping with Sterling at Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan, CT. During the night, Sterling jumped on my chest, waking me up out of a sound sleep. Once he knew I was awake, he brought me the bag which contains all my blood testing paraphernalia. Then, he flew into the kitchen in our trailer and opened the fridge as he has been trained to do by tugging on the attached rope, and he brought me a bottle of orange juice. I was astounded to say the least; I thought, What’s going on here?
I was surprised by Sterling’s actions because the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring machine that tracks my blood sugar level through a tube that’s attached to me had not sounded an alert. When I checked, the machine was dead as a door nail, but Sterling detected a change in my body chemistry and did what was necessary even though the machine had not beeped. If Sterling had not acted it could have resulted in a trip to the Emergency Room, or worse.
Once I realized that the machine was not working, I went back to the old fashioned way of testing my blood every two hours. And, I alerted the machine’s manufacturer to the malfunction and was sent a new replacement machine. Meanwhile— and just in case—I have Service Dog Sterling, who will not malfunction!
Although Sterling and I shall continue to go camping, and to be together for many years, I know that when it’s time for Sterling to retire, I’ll want another ECAD Service Dog.
Thank you for your generous gifts to ECAD in honor of Thomas Griffen.
Donations are 100% tax-deductible as allowable by law. If your employer has a Matching Gift program,
please complete the form and mail it to ECAD, P.O. Box 831, Torrington, CT 06790.