A little girl has a diabetes dog who is supposed to sense when her blood sugar drops. He's trained to alert the family so they can more carefully monitor her. The girl's mother was shocked, however, when the dog alerted her that there was a problem when the girl was miles away.
Hero, the appropriately named Labrador Retriever, watches over 4-year-old Sadie. In addition to having Down syndrome, Sadie is a Type one diabetic, which means blood sugar fluctuations can be extremely hazardous if not caught in time. For Type one diabetics, blood sugar can rise and fall really quickly and catch people off guard — especially children.
When Sadie's blood sugar gets too low or too high, Hero whines. "I'll hold out my hands and say, what is it? and he'll … paw my left hand for a low, and he'll nose my right hand for a high," Sadie's mom Michelle explained.
The theory has always been that diabetes dogs can smell chemical changes in the body related to blood sugar highs and lows. But one day when Sadie was across town at school, Hero went into his routine. Michelle, who was home with Hero, didn't understand why the dog was acting up.
"(Michelle) called me and asked if I could check her numbers and they were fine," said Sadie's teacher. "I tested her and it was fine. Then within half an hour she went down."
Sadie's blood sugar plummeted suddenly to near dangerous levels.
"The lows are more dangerous immediately," Michelle said. "...she could go into a diabetic coma right away, and she could die, if we kept her low too long."
How could hero smell what hadn't yet happened, especially when it was happening five miles away? Maybe it's not Hero's super snooper that's so keen; maybe the dog is psychic.
Either way, Sadie's parents are just grateful. "I've always called Sadie our little angel, and I think Hero was a little angel sent into our lives to watch over her," said her dad.