Diabetes in Pets is Treatable!
What could be sweeter then a diabetic pet!

We adopted Dakota when he was almost 3 years old in June, 1999.  He was living in a foster home with 5 other Siberians in a small house.  Since he is male aggressive, he could only play with the females.  He certainly didn’t have the characteristics of the Siberian that I wanted, but after looking at several other dogs, his personality won me over.  Even to this day, whenever he wants to be petted, he will always sit first.  A trained Siberian is something.  He doesn’t always listen. 

He loves to chase squirrels, rabbits and birds.  He is always on a tie-out, especially since he was a stray, but he has managed to get off twice to chase a squirrel or a rabbit.  The first time he was chasing a squirrel, Dakota ended up jumping over 3 fences and the only reason why we got him back was because the squirrel ran up a tree and Dakota was trying to jump up the tree.  The second time the rabbit hid and we were fast enough to catch him.

While I was volunteering at a local animal shelter in June of 2000, I had a strong connection with a female Siberian.  She was the total opposite of Dakota.  Sierra was quiet (for the most part), shy, timid, not very social, less energetic.  So we decided to adopt her.  Dakota couldn’t have been more thrilled.  He has always been a very social creature and now to have a friend to play with was great.

In 2001, we all started hiking.  Dakota is amazing out on the trail.  There would be a fork in the trail and we wouldn’t know which way to go.  Dakota seemed to always figure it out.  Now we have learned to trust him.  He needs to be the leader and out in front.  He hates getting his harness on, because he then submits to us, but as soon as we are ready, he can’t wait to get out of the house for walks or even better are car rides.  We have hikes throughout Michigan and the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in Minnesota.

In the fall of 2000, we were noticing that Dakota rubbed his eye a lot.  We’d take him to the vet, they would say that he has an eye ulcer and give us medication and then it would clear up.  Doing this for almost a year, we saw a different vet who recognized the problem and sent us to the ophthalmologist.  He diagnosed it as keraconjuctivitis (dry eyes).  Dakota has been getting eye drops daily since July, 2001.  He is the most cooperative dog, I have seen.  He never puts up a fight with us to give him his eye drops.

Dakota and Sierra got along great.  Once Sierra was diagnosed with cancer Oct. 2004, and she wasn’t able to play with Dakota much anymore, you could see that he was missing something.  Once Sierra died, Dec. 26, 2004, Dakota would not ride in the car anymore.  He was very agitated and would not settle down.  Therefore, we started looking for another female Siberian to adopt.  On Jan. 22, 2005, we adopted Nokomis.  Since then, Dakota has been very comfortable riding in the car again.  He also has another friend to play with.

Dakota always suffered from allergies, but Jan. 17, 2005 I had them do a blood test to confirm.  On that day, he also got a prednisone shot and some pills.  For about 10 days he was on these drugs and we didn’t like the way Dakota was acting, so we stopped giving him the medication.  He was still drinking a lot of water and urinating everywhere.  We took him to a different vet and had his blood checked and found out that he is diabetic.  We are still trying to regulate his glucose and find the right diet for him.  But recently, he seems to be doing much better, even though the glucose levels are still too high.  Despite these challenges, Dakota remains our faithful friend and trail leader.

Dakota's Family Photos

Dakota, Pete, Kathryn & Sierra
at the 
Annual Adopt a Husky 
Hike Fundraiser, 
September 2004
Dakota and Sierra 
Best Friends in City Park
November 2004

My New Friend 
Nokomis, January 2005

My First Sister - Sierra on the Trail
in Minnesota, July 2004
Dakota & Sierra 
Taking a Break on the Trail
August 2004
Medal Winning Children 
Just another perk of being rescued 
Dakota & Sierra, March 2002

 Sierra's Rainbow Bridge Page 

 Read More Stories about Other Diabetic Pets

 This page was added to the website on May 1, 2005

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