The Prayer That Saved Vinny

They were told their beloved Italian greyhound’s diabetes was untreatable. Then her husband had the strangest dream.

By Nancy Carlson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

As appeared in

Dr. Lukens’s voice was gentle but his words were crushing. “There’s nothing more we can do for Vinny,” our veterinarian said. “His body isn’t responding to the insulin, but if we continue to increase his units, he will die.”

I couldn’t even look at my husband, Kameron. I knew if I did, I’d break down. And I didn’t want Vinny, our nine-yearold Italian greyhound, to panic. He’d already been through so much, and of all our dogs, he was the most sensitive to people’s feelings, especially mine.

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Fighting to remain calm, I held Vinny and stroked his side. His ribs jutted out. Even for a slender breed, he was too thin. Dangerously thin.

Because of his diabetes. More to the point, because we couldn’t find a way to manage his diabetes. I’d first noticed something was wrong eight months earlier.

Vinny was going out more often to urinate, and he started eating ravenously and drinking more too. One day he lapped up two bowls of water in less than five minutes. Despite his increased appetite, he was losing weight. “I think it might be diabetes,” Kameron said. “My dad had the same symptoms.”

We took Vinny to the vet for tests. “It’s rare in Italian greyhounds,” Dr. Lukens said, “but Vinny has diabetes mellitus.” I’d been prepared for the diagnosis because of Kameron’s suspicions. Still, I gasped. It was a shock to actually hear the words.

Dr. Lukens reassured me. It was less complicated to manage diabetes in a dog than in a human, he said. A big part of controlling diabetes is controlling diet, and owners control what their dogs eat. Unlike humans, dogs can’t usually cheat on their diets.

“You’ll have to make some changes, but Vinny can lead a full, healthy life.” Kameron was confident too. “I did a ton of reading about diabetes to help my dad,” he reminded me. “I know we can help Vinny.”

Taking care of a dog with diabetes means establishing a consistent routine–the key to keeping blood-sugar levels stable, Dr. Lukens told us–and that’s what we did for Vinny. Insulin injections twice a day, the same time every day. Meals with the same type and amount of food at the same time every day.

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We rejiggered our schedules to make sure one of us was always there for Vinny–when he needed insulin, when he needed to be fed, when he needed to go out. We run our own financial-planning business, so we had some flexibility.

Kameron took the toughest shifts, taking Vinny out at 1:00 a.m., then getting up again at 5:00 to give him his first shot of insulin.

We went back and forth to the vet to check his bloodsugar readings and adjust his insulin dosage. Dr. Lukens had told us it might take some time–weeks, even–to figure out the right dosage for Vinny. But months went by, and his health got worse. He dropped from 21 to 14 pounds.

He was drinking two gallons of water a day–his body’s attempt to get rid of excess sugar–but was so dehydrated that if I tugged his skin, it remained tented.

He was up to 14 units of insulin a day, yet his blood-sugar levels skyrocketed to 394–way out of the normal range of 80 to 110. That, in turn, led to cataracts and blindness. The saddest thing was watching our energetic little dog grow listless and lethargic, as if he’d lost all his joy in life.

“I’m sorry,” Dr. Lukens told us now. “I wish there was some resolution for Vinny’s condition. Just try to keep him as comfortable as you can for as long as you can.” How long will that be? I wondered. I couldn’t bring myself to ask.

That evening we settled on the couch after dinner, Vinny resting in my lap and our other dog, Leo, snuggled beside Kameron. When Vinny licked my hand weakly, I couldn’t hold back my emotions any longer. Tears coursed down my cheeks.

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Your Comments (13)

great story. Can I get receipe for dogs with diabetes. My 10 lb. Min. pin. was diagnosed yesterday with diabetes.

Can we get the recipe for the Dia-Treaties that saved Vinny.
I am diabetic and sure could use the help. Let me know
something. Thank you, Nancy Harper

What a truly wonderful yet sad story. I was thrilled to see that what ever you gave him worked. I am a diabetic too. It hurts us most when dogs are sick and we try everything in our power to help them. You are great dog parents! God bless you both. Im sorry Vinny has passed. He is free of his diabetes and playing with all the wonderful babies before him.

I love the story about the dog, Vinny. It's a sad and happy story all at the same time. And Kameron, keep up the good work. God has truly blessed you. God bless you both and I'm sorry for the passing of Vinny but, I know that he's in Heaven now, well and running with all of the other animals. God bless you both. ♥♥♥

Seems to me there is unnecessary accusation here. Unless this formula is tested it cannot be used for other animals. Any vet is not just going to hand out such a recipe without legitimate lab tests. The only shame here is for the folks who can be so critical.

L. Settles,

Evidently, they had the "God given formula" well tested and now selling them for $39.95 for one pound of it. How many people can afford that much money for one pound of dog food? Not me.

And yes, I agree with some others that this was an infomercial via Guideposts. Shame.

Hi Disappointed: To me it seems if this formula can be more effective for diabetes than insulin, than it's worth the money to buy it for your dog if you cares for his/her health. I know my mom always buys the healthier choice available for my food even though she never takes a bus when she can walk. It sounds like the ingredients - if they are from natural food stores - would not be as cheap as the normal dog food anyway...

Wonderful story, but I agree...ends up being an infomercial.
Was very disappointed..ruined the story overall.

Freely we receive, freely we should give. So very sad, that greed is what has brought this country to its financial end. Act justly love mercy walk humbly. Micah 6:8. May God touch their hearts, and ours to share all that we have with others, we can't take it with us. Remember the story of the rich young ruler, not willing to sell all he had, give to the poor, in order to to get It All! We have Jesus, and eternal life with Him in heaven, if our priority is MONEY, it is idolatry.

I read this article, thinking what a wonderful thing to share with animal lovers who want to help their dogs--and then I read "disappointed" comments. It seems to me if a person is truly a Christian they would want to help others with the same need instead of becoming greedy from God's answer to their prayers. What would it hurt to share this recipe for free! Oh, that's right, their new money making machine. Good luck, Disappointed--keep searching--someone out there may be willing to share information because they want to help others. Shame on Guideposts for sharing what sounds like an infomercial for this dog food!

Never mind my comment above. I found your commercial website. Silly of me to hope for the recipe when you can sell a pound of it for $39.95.

I was hoping to see the recipe at the end of the story. One of our dogs have similar symptoms and I am sure there are a lot of others who were hoping to find out as well to save their dogs.

I too, was hoping to receive a recipe at the end of this article, then it finally hit me:

1. This couple could get in a heap of trouble for making health claims that aren't in line with federal guidelines.

2. God gives us the power to get wealth sometimes this involves witty inventions and God ideas. And yes, HE doesn't mind if we make MONEY from His ideas.

3. God is NO respect of persons, we, too, can ask the Lord to shed light on how to treat any ailment according to Proverbs 3:6 and James 1:5. I GUARANTEE He will reveal "personalized" pathways to our miracle healing or successful medical treatments to us.

Proverbs 3:6

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.

James 1:5

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.