Pleasant Grove, UTAH –Dogs have hundreds of millions of scent receptors and thanks to this, they have been used to detect blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. If properly trained, they can easily detect when the levels are too low or too high one or two miles away. Detecting this 5 miles away is absolutely extraordinary, but that’s exactly what Hero did.
Hero is a British yellow Labrador trained as a Diabetic alert dog, who gives warning signs whenever Sadie’s blood sugar changes. But Sadie not only has Type 1 diabetes; this 4-year old girl also has Down Syndrome, which makes it hard for her parents to monitor her blood sugar levels. Luckily they have Hero in her life.
He is trained to whine, nose or paw Sadie’s parents in the hand when there’s a change. If the blood sugars drop below 100, Hero will let them know in their left hand and if they get above 200, he will do the same but in the right hand.
For two years he has been keeping Sadie safe, but the extraordinary happened at the beginning of December last year when he alerted Sadie’s mum that her sugar was about to drop. Sadie was at school 5 miles away but he was insisting so much on the alert that her mum called her school to have her checked.
At the moment she was ok but in only half an hour her levels drop from 112 to 82, which can potentially be very dangerous. Hero not only sensed it from a long distance, but he also sensed it even before it actually happened.
Sadie’s mum recently decided to share this story to create awareness on the importance these dogs have on diabetic patients; they can save their lives. And even if most trained alert dogs can’t detect a possible danger in such distance, it is still amazing how much they can help people. She said on a Facebook post:
“We were nervous to do the story because we didn’t want to give the impression that all dogs alert long distance. They don’t. We didn’t want to appear like we were making crazy claims about our dog’s ability… So while we can’t and won’t even try to explain how this happens, we feel blessed. Even without the long distance alerts, he is amazing!”
If you want to know more about Sadie’s and Hero’s bond, you can follow them on Facebook. And if you want to know more on diabetic service dogs like Hero, you can visit Tattle Tale Scent Dogs’ website. KC Owens is Hero’s trainer and her work is definitely worth checking out.