Hints from Heloise: Diabetic service dog


Dear Heloise: You shine a light on service dogs quite a bit; allow me to tell you about mine. When people think of service dogs, they probably think of a dog who helps a blind person or someone who has mobility issues and uses a wheelchair. And yes, those dogs are out there. But my dog, Stella, helps me with my diabetes!

Stella is trained to detect hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. When my blood sugar is low, the smell of my breath changes and I can start to perspire a lot.

She will sense this and prompt me with a paw or a nudge to treat my blood sugar while I am still able to do so.

She can also sense if I start to feel lightheaded and act like I might faint, also symptoms, among others, of hypoglycemia. — Cayla R. in Illinois

Cayla, I’m so happy you have Stella, a diabetic service dog, also called a DSD. Here’s the thing — a dog’s sense of smell is acute, to say the least. A human has around 5 million olfactory cells; a dog can have as many as 220 million! This means the dog’s sense of smell can be 1,000 times sharper than a person’s. This is necessary to detect those changes in the smell of your breath and/or the smell of your sweat, which may indicate your blood sugar is dropping. Send us a picture of Stella, and we will make her Pet of the Week on www.Heloise.com! — Heloise


Dear Heloise: Reverse osmosis, what is it? The label on my bottle of water states the water comes from the public water supply (I assume that means the tap) and it’s purified using reverse osmosis and enhanced with minerals for taste. Please decode. — Gerry B. in D.C.

Gerry, here’s a Heloise high-five for reading those labels! Let’s look at bottled water. The “public water supply” is, yes, the municipal water from your city, but not straight from the tap.

“Reverse osmosis” is a filtering or purification process that won’t allow anything larger than a water molecule to pass through. A water molecule is EXTREMELY EXTREMELY small.

The minerals used for taste are typically calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium sulfate, but can vary. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I heard the most inspiring quote from a dancer at an audition: “Dance is about creating shapes with your body.”

As we are hopefully coming out of quarantine, I’m getting ready to dance, express myself and create some shapes with my body! — Kara S. in Pennsylvania


Dear Heloise: When I peel a sticky note off the pad, I peel it from the side instead of from the bottom. This helps the note to lie flat on the paper it’s then stuck too, instead of the bottom curling up. — R.O. in New York



Dear Heloise: My husband and I are recently married, and my mother-in-law came over for coffee one day and showed me a neat little trick while I was folding laundry. I now fold the top sheet, the bottom sheet and one pillowcase. Then I stack them up and place all of it in the second pillowcase. This way nothing is lost and everything is together. No more searching for that second pillowcase. — Mattie A., Little Rock, Ark.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today