The photograph, at first glance, looks typical of those moms post on Facebook.
A cute kid? Check. A cute dog? Check, too. But the number on a device toward the bottom of the frame tells otherwise.
“This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more,” Dorrie Nuttal wrote about the photo of her son, Luke, and his black Labrador named Jedi. “This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy.”
In a now-viral Facebook post, the mother explains how she was fast asleep when Jedi jumped onto Nuttall’s bed in the middle of the night, laying on top of her until she awoke.
The dog bowed low to the ground and refused to budge. That’s when Dorrie knew: She had to check on Luke.
Jedi, Luke’s service dog, is specially trained in sniffing out when Luke’s blood sugar drops too low.
“I suddenly was fully awake and I knew there was an issue,” Dorrie wrote. “I pricked his finger and got this, 57 is way too low, and by Jedi's behavior I guarantee he was dropping fast (he is still recovering from a stomach bug and anything under 70 is low).”
The dog saved his boy’s life, she said.
Jedi is part of an emerging segment of service animals called diabetic “alert dogs.” They’re trained to detect a high or low level of blood sugar and notify humans through signals, such as Jedi’s bow.
The sharp sense of smell that makes certain dog breeds fit for sniffing out drugs or bombs also lets them sniff out hard-to-detect scents emitted by people who lack insulin, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Luke is one of those people. Those with Type 1 diabetes have bodies that don’t produce insulin, requiring daily injections of the hormone.
The disease requires constant monitoring, too, and dogs like Jedi can prove quicker and more accurate than machines.
“His alerts often beat the meters and he saves Luke from lots of the crummy feelings and health issues that go along with each,” Dorrie wrote online. “but Jedi's job goes beyond alerting, he also saves Luke from being alone, from being scared, he is his constant companion.”