Sadie, 4-years-old, has Type one diabetes and Down syndrome, which makes it difficult for her parents to keep her blood sugars stable.
That’s until a special Labrador joined the family.
We all know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, a dog named Hero detected a drop in blood sugar from five miles away! Hero is trained to detect when his human’s blood sugar levels are too low or too high.
Hero lives in Utah and watches out for Sadie, a 4-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and diabetes. If Hero senses that Sadie’s blood sugar has changed too an unsafe level, he will alert her parents.
One day, Sadie was in her classroom at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills while Hero was at the family’s Pleasant Grove home, more than five miles away. That’s when the dog started acting out.
“He’s normally a very quiet dog,” Michelle recalled. “Whining is not in his protocol. But he just started whining and he would not stop.”
Hero was alerting Michelle that Sadie’s blood sugars were dropping even though the child was miles away. Michelle texted Sadie’s teacher just in case.
Teacher Kimberly Stoneman remembered the text and phone call.
“[Sadie’s mom] called me and asked if I could check her numbers and they were fine,” Stoneman explained. “I tested her and it was fine. Then within half an hour she went down.”
Sadie’s numbers suddenly dropped from 122 to 82. “The lows are more dangerous immediately,” Michelle said. “[With] lows, she could go into a diabetic coma right away, and she could die, if we kept her low too long.”
“I’ll be honest, it kinda blew my mind,” she said. “We’re here and the dog is way over in Pleasant Grove.”
Not with Hero on the job! KC Owen’s, Hero’s trainer, said she used a bottled scent to train him to detect low and high blood sugars.
“They’re easy to train, they’re bred for their nose,” Owens told the news station. “These dogs can wake up a parent in the middle of the night for a low. They can go get help, and they do this well in advance of all the technology.”
Owen’s said that Labs have hundreds of millions of receptors in their nose that help them smell things two miles away.
“How do dogs know when their owners are coming home?” Owens asked. “There’s another piece of it, that I call, “It’s a God thing”. I think it’s like mother’s intuition. These dogs have abilities and senses beyond our understanding.”
No one is quite sure how Hero managed to detect the change in Sadie’s blood sugar that day – it was divine intervention!
“I’ve always called Sadie our little angel, and I think Hero was a little angel sent into our lives to watch over her,” dad said.