Molly Polly is a fluffy little silky terrier with a massive heart. Her family wanted an alert dog to help save one of their type 1 diabetes twins lives. This little twin, Hannah, was 3 years old and hypoglycaemic (hypo) unaware. Being hypo unaware increases her chance of slipping into a coma and dying. Other assistance dog organisations refused to help due to Hannah’s age.
Hannah’s identical twin, Olivia, suffered from PTSD and anxiety because she was so stressed that her twin – Hannah might die. So Hannah’s family decided to get a dog and train it themselves to be a diabetic alert dog. They knew that a dog could bond with their twins and make their lives a little bit happier – and maybe even save one of the twins.
Why a Silky Terrier? – the girls were 5 years old and a big dog would have pulled them over. So a silky terrier was chosen because they are incredibly loyal, hardy and do not shed. They are not considered little children’s dogs….. but someone forgot to tell Molly Polly.
Molly Polly was named by Hannah and Olivia and she came to live with them when she was 8 weeks old. Molly Polly was socialized very well with children and thought they were awesome as they loved playing with her. A year after Molly Polly came to live with her family, Olivia (6 years old) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Hannah with anxiety.
Molly Polly’s family moved to the ACT to get better care for the twins in school and because their Brisbane school had said they would not accept an assistance dog. Molly Polly has always calmed Olivia and Hannah when they have been anxious, she comes up to them and snuggles into them, even licking their faces until they are no longer anxious. Molly Polly taught herself this amazing skill.
Molly Polly started basic training as a puppy and then when she was 15 months old her family progressed to more formal training (Molly Polly has never been to obedience classes). Molly Polly was registered with mindDog as a trainee in February 2015 (19 months) and got her mindDog trainee vest in late April 2015. In March 2015 with no formal training Molly Polly alerted her family that Hannah required an ambulance. Hannah’s diabetes was causing her to have ketones and become seriously ill. Due to this remarkable ability, within weeks Molly Polly started diabetic alert dog training through video clips from the Diabetic Alert Dog University (USA). Molly Polly’s family did all the diabetic alert exercises and trained Molly Polly to alert for hypos. She taught herself to alert for hyperglycaemic (hyper) and ketones.
“She has saved both Hannah and Olivia’s lives numerous times.”
In May 2015, Molly Polly became the first assistance dog to go to school in the ACT – Ainslie School. Molly Polly absolutely loves school. She thinks school and life is one awesome adventure. Within 3 days of starting school, Molly Polly alerted Hannah’s teacher’s aide that Hannah was having a hypo. Molly Polly continues to alert for hypos/hypers/ketones and calms anxiety not only in the twins but also their peers.
Molly Polly is incredibly loved by her family and school community, and thinks life is one awesome adventure. She goes everywhere with her 8 year old twins…. including holidays, hospital visits and weekly shopping trips. Molly Polly is very happy and does not think alerting and calming anxiety is hard work, just part of her awesome life.
Molly Polly has built up quite the profile in the media. Check out stories and social profile of Molly Polly and learn more about her adventures.