© Paws for Diabetics Inc, 2006 - 2013. ABN 26 994 694 733
Owner: Kaylene Burnell
Fully Accredited Assistance Dog
On the 5th September 2008 Winston was flown from NSW to Perth. When my family and I arrived at the Perth airport unbeknown to all of us except Winston I was having a hypo as soon as I took Winston from his puppy crate he alerted me to the hypo I did a test and confirmed what Winston had told me and he saved my life. Since then Winston has saved my life so many times that I have lost count. Now that I have Winston I am no longer housebound or depressed and my family can go out on their own and know that as long as I have Winston with me then I am safe because he will alert me before my blood sugar gets to a dangerous level. My endocrinologist gave Winston the nickname “Winston the Wonder Whippet” because he and all the other medical people could see how much my life had improved since I got Winston. I was no longer having to be admitted to hospital for long periods of time with unstable diabetes.
Winston was such a clever little puppy and we all love him dearly. Winston did very well with all of his training and I am so proud of him. When Winston was just over a year old he had to do his public access test and he passed it very easily just like he does every year.
Winston and I have been a working team for just over 4 years now and we go everywhere together he’s been to all of my medical appointments with me, he likes to go shopping and to the movies, his favourite movie is Red Dog. Winston and I also often go out for dinner or a coffee with friends and family to different restaurants and cafes. When we go out in public Winston wears a green jacket and has a special ID card that says he is a Paws for Diabetics Inc Fully Accredited Assistance Dog.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over 30 years ago and I have other diabetic medical complications as well. The scariest of all is that I am completely Hypoglycaemia Unaware which means that I am unable to tell when my blood sugar levels are dangerously low. I have an amazing family and I love them all dearly. I spent a lot of time in hospital and when I wasn’t in hospital my family would have to monitor me very closely I was scared to go out on my own in case I collapsed from a hypoglycaemia episode. My husband Andrew would often have to take time off work to care for me and when he wasn’t home our children Harley and Sarah would be my minders. Harley and Sarah had to learn at a young age how to call 000 for an ambulance. Eventually Andrew had to give up work and he became my full time carer we also had to move back to the city to be closer to a large hospital. It was during one of my many hospital admissions that my nurse told me about Paws for Diabetics Inc and when I was discharged from hospital we joined the organisation.
When you meet Winston the Wonder Whippet you know that he is a Wonderful Whippet he has an adorable face, unlimited personality a great big heart and he loves to see people smile.
Winston is very caring he knows when people are not well. A little while ago Winston alerted Harley to high blood sugar levels Harley went to the doctor and he was diagnosed with diabetes.
We wanted to give back to the organisation that helped us. Andrew and I have held various positions on the management committee and my mum and I make various hand made items such as knitted blankets, patchwork quilts and knitted dog coats to sell on our stalls. Winston and his brother Jack the poodle get to model the dog coats which they think are very warm and snazzy.
We also have a Facebook page called “Gifts Made With Love From My Heart To Yours” Our family also attend all the various Paws for Diabetics Inc Fund Raising events and help to man the stalls.
Jack also likes to attend some of the events and last year Sarah entered him in a dog competition, everyone loved Jack and he won a prize. We really enjoy meeting people and making new friends.
We look forward to our next Paws for Diabetics Inc fundraising event and hope to see you there.