Becky Causey...legit diabetic alert dog trainer? Help!

(Alice) #1

I have an odd question for you…have you heard of BeckyCausey of Causey Labradors in WV. She is the person who bred and is training our diabetic alert dog Winston. Per our contract, Winston was supposed to be ready in August. She pushed the date back to Nov, then to Jan, then the March, and then, 3 days before she was supposed to bring him (Alex had taken a week off to be here for the week of training and transition), she called and said he wasn’t ready yet. That was March 11. At the time, she said she thought he only needed one more month (because he wagged is tail and knocked a 5 year old down when she was staying with a friend). It’s been 6 weeks with no reply to my texts, calls, or emails. When he is ready, she would come here for a week and we would spend the week together transitioning Winston. And we can’t travel for a month after we get him…so you can see that it will require advance planning on both our parts for this hand off to be successful. We are getting closer to May and I still haven’t heard from her. Technically this is a violation of our contract which allowed for 6 months give or take…we passed that mark a while ago. We’ve already paid her in full $18000 for the dog. I’m afraid we’ve been scammed. Do any of you know if she is legit and maybe just awful at communication? Or should I contact our lawyer?! I almost died about a month ago from a nighttime low, so it’s pretty anxiety producing for me to have to continue to wait when we’ve already waited over 2.5 years and have had zero response from the trainer since she canceled our hand-off of the dog 6 weeks ago.

(Bill) #2

Hi, Alice @AliceD;

It never hurts to visit with your attorney about such matters. This is more than uncomfortable. A family in this area of Texas paid $10K for what turned out to be “just a dog.” Really uncomfortable.

In the meantime, consider visiting with your physician about CGM or whatever method seems best to provide you with a safety net.

Good luck!

Bill

(Christopher) #3

Alice, Don’t know anything about Becky, but I do know that Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael CA also trains diabetes dogs. Don’t know their pricing scheme, but I think it is modest.
Chris

(vdenerson) #4

Hi. A few years back my daughter had a severe seizure due to her low. We immediately got her on a Dexcom CGM and have been so very happy with it. She gets alarms when she is trending low and I also get alarmed when she goes lower than 50 ( on my phone). It has been a Godsend! Love dogs but maybe consider trying a CGM? Hope all works out.

(Charles) #5

Alice,
I’m sorry your having problems with less than honest people.
A couple of things. The CGM is awesome, I use it! But it’s not perfect. A dog is great and well their not perfect either. But the combo of the two is pretty good.
I was fortunate to have had a dog who trained himself to be an alert dog, by himself and of his own decision. I just lost him, but I never knew how much he did for me. I use the dexcom and get weekly reports on how well I did. The week I lost him I had a 11% drop in my ability to stay in range from the previous week. I dropped from 93% to 83%. The numbers don’t lie. I lost him and I still haven’t gotten back to where I was.
I was planning on getting him officially trained, because he deserved it. But I am looking to train a new dog in the future. I will actually do the training myself with guidance from a trainer. I have bred, shown, trained dogs for over 30 yrs now. I would suggest this. Figure out how to get the dog. Legally!
Attorney, sheriffs etc. once you have the dog, contact your local Kennel Club. Ask for thier assistance in finding a good, local trainer and tell them what has happened and ask if they will train you( or the person who will use the dog) to help train the dog with you. This will be the best situation, you have the dog with you, the trainer tells you what to do and you bond with the dog. Remember you’ve already paid a lot for this dog and well I wouldn’t let it out of my sight once I got it in my possession.
If you want more info etc, give me a way to contact, I’ll help as best as I can.
Even tho this is specialized training, it’s not that hard to do. It just takes time and patience. But you will need someone to guide you to the end. Most good dog trainers will have no problem with doing this. Once I learn to formally train a dog, I will help any way I can. Even if it’s just support while you work with the dog.
Let me know what I can do to help. I’ll help. It really angers me when people use this type situation to take advantage of people.
I’m actually going to see about a dog this coming weekend. I will start training after she and I get to know each other. The Kennel Club I belong to has some people who have trained diabetic alert dogs and I will be learning from them. I hope to do this over the summer/fall time frame. Once I see how good they are, I’ll get names of others in your area to contact.

Dogs are very personal once you have them. They are with you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You get frustrated with them and they with you. It’s a more intense relationship than being married. You depend on them and they depend on you!

I hope I’ve not rambled too much, but I’m an older person diagnosed at a later stage in life with T1D and I can’t focus as well as I used to. I’m working on it tho!

Again, give me a way to contact you, I’ll reach out to friends in the Dog Show world and help get names and reputations of someone as close to you as possible…I’ll help however I can.

I’m so sorry that this is happening to you. It puts a bad taste in your mouth about dog trainers. I know, this is frustrating. But once you have the dog, it can be all downhill from there. I would make sure I got the dog you were promised. You’ve paid a lot for it! If you have contracts etc. it should be fairly easy. Most states consider dogs as property. So getting the dog may be a simple as talking to the police department in the area that this person lives in…with contract in hand and proof of payment, the dog should be yours. Just a matter of having officers with you to pick up the dog. I’m not an attorney, but in my state, that’s how it works. Then you can use the court to get money back, or at least a decision against them. But I would get the dog first!

Good luck, let me know if I can help and I will do my best to help.
Charlie

(Becky) #6

Guide Dogs does NOT train diabetic alert dogs. They do, however, give dogs that are not appropriate for their service work and MAY be appropriate for hypoglycemic alerting to Dogs for Diabetics in Concord CA. D4D does have a limited service area.

If you are looking for a full service dog (public access), go to the Assistance Dogs International website and look up certified service dog organizations that do scent training (hypoglycemic).

While CGMs are great and give you information, I know first hand that the accuracy (Dexcom g5) is not always there. Properly trained dogs are quicker and more accurate than CGMs.

I have not heard of this woman but would say that something is not quite right. Most dogs are not appropriate for service work until older than 18-24 months. D4D is able to train their dogs for scent alerting in 4-6 months. Their dogs have grown up being prepared for service work.