Bravo was born in McCammon, ID on December 2, 2005; I received him as a gift from Steve & Sharon Parker of Sunshine Kennels in early 2006. I didn't plan for him to remain with me; I had another home already lined up for him when he turned 2. I had trained and competed with Labs and simply wanted to see if my training practices had advanced enough to train a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I had no clue that when this brown bundle of fur came into my home that my life was about to become changed forever.
As a pup, Bravo was a funny little joker, full of joy and happily bringing laughter to whatever situation we were in. Before he was a year old, I exposed him to as many new experiences as I could. Bravo had "heart" and he always tried.
His registered name, Fetch Express Bravo Zula SH, CDX, RN, NAJ - he jammed a qualifying stake at an AKC Field Trail, competed in Dock jumping (23' 7") and Vertical jumped (6' 10"), was a registered Therapy Dog, was twice nominated for the AKC ACE Award (Award for Canine Excellence), was a Cabela's commercial & calendar cover dog, and the K9 Hero of the Year Award winner at the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Classic in Utah, In addition he was a hunting companion in both waterfowl and upland hunting. He had more ribbons & plaques than there was wall space for.
While all this is amazing and shows what an incredible dog Bravo was, I would gladly trade it all as Bravo was also a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD).
Being a Type 1 Diabetic, Bravo began alerting by trying to get me to go to the kitchen whenever my blood sugars were low, he knew I go there to get treatments and picked up on this himself. Once I began paring his behavior to my blood sugar levels, he would alert me to my low and high blood glucose levels when there was a change happening. He would either paw my hand for a high level or bow for a low level. While Bravo brought hope and comfort to me, he has also brought hope to others with diabetes. People who have seen him in action become driven to improve their own lives. He helped teach both the diabetics and their families how to properly handle dogs, and shown how to alert to the family. Bravo alerted to countless people with diabetes in elevators, airplanes, doctors offices, at sporting venues and many other places. Basically, Bravo's nose was always at work.
Bravo passed away on July 19, 2017 and has left a lasting memory for all who knew him.