By Ryan Yousefi
Monica Morrison, the founder of Sugar Sniffers and a long-time juvenile diabetes patient, is on a mission to make a difference in the lives of diabetic individuals and their families.
With her Diabetic Alert Dog, Copper, by her side, the Coral Springs resident has experienced firsthand the transformative life-saving powers of these specially trained dogs and is on a mission to ensure others have an opportunity to have their own super-powered sugar-sniffing furry friend.
Having trained Cooper herself, Morrison says she quickly realized how helpful her experience could be to others and soon after decided to create Sugar Sniffers as a way to pay it forward to those also facing life-threatening medical obstacles.
Recently speaking with Coral Springs Talk, Monica shared that Sugar Sniffers is on a mission to provide others with the same security that her furry companion has brought to her life.
“Having Copper has brought immense peace of mind to both me and my loved ones,” Morrison shares. “With my children having moved away and my husband working long hours, I often find myself alone at home. Copper’s presence assures us that I have an extra layer of protection, as he is trained to alert me when my blood sugar levels are not under control.”
Morrison, a Cypress Glen resident just north of J.P. Taravella High School, has lived in Florida for over 30 years and has called Cypress Glen her home for the past 13 years.
As she puts it, the time spent in the local community has made Coral Springs a part of who she is and fueled her as she created a company that could help others in a similar situation.
Morrison says Sugar Sniffers has a clear mission: to help diabetic families achieve their goal of obtaining Diabetic Alert Dogs.
In addition to Diabetic Alert Dogs, she says she is also training Seizure Alert Dogs and dogs capable of sensing high blood pressure.
As Morrison puts it, dogs with specific ‘sniffing superpowers’ tend to up their owners’ sensory game, making them more keenly aware of their own bodies.
“Having a Diabetic Alert Dog would make an individual more conscious of their disease because learning about how the dog works would, in the beginning, have the person pay more attention to where their blood sugars are,” Morrison said.
Morrison says another aspect that sets Sugar Sniffers apart from many service dog companies is their innovative approach to affordability, made possible by sourcing dogs from specific breeders.
She told Coral Springs Talk Sugar Sniffers dog prices start well below the $20,000-$40,000 a usual service dog would cost, encouraging her clients to adopt a dog or puppy from local shelters or rescues. This makes the process not only more cost-effective but also helps alleviate the problem of overpopulated shelters and rescues.
Morrison emphasizes that taking care of a Diabetic Alert Dog comes with significant and unique responsibilities, including the need for ongoing training required to ensure the dog’s behavior remains exemplary in public spaces and various environments.
Service Dog owners are required to ensure their furry friend remains well-behaved, calm, and non-disruptive, even in settings like theaters, appointments, or during travel; not always the easiest task, but something Sugar Sniffers said it works hard on ingraining in dogs it trains.
For those interested in obtaining a diabetic service dog, Morrison suggests contacting Sugar Sniffers through Facebook or Instagram. She offers guidance on selecting suitable dogs from local shelters or rescues, and training begins when the client is ready.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiple outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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