We rely on several precautionary devices to keep us safe when we’ve tucked ourselves in for the night, from the security system that robotically announces that the system is armed to the unblinking red light on the smoke detectors that have been carefully mounted throughout the house. But a 7-year-old named Luke trusts his life to his black Labrador Retriever every time he closes his eyes.
Luke has Type-1 diabetes — the kind of diabetes that only affects 5 percent of those with the disease — and relies on Jedi, a trained diabetic alert dog, to know when his glucose levels fall below an acceptable range.
According to Luke’s mother, Dorrie Nuttall, Jedi has literally saved Luke’s life on more than one occasion, most recently when his blood sugar levels plummeted while he slept.
In a Facebook post, Nuttall said that she and Luke were both sound asleep when Jedi jumped on and off the bed, waking her up. When she groggily shoved him aside, Jedi draped himself on top of her and refused to move.
Although Luke’s CGM (continuous glucose monitor) said that his glucose level was a safe 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), Jedi continued to show his alerting behaviors. She pricked the boy’s finger and his actual glucose level was a potentially dangerous 57 mg/dL, and she was able to give him a glucose tab immediately.
“Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range,” she wrote. “[Luke] has never woken up on his own for a low in over 4 and a half years. We are his safety net, he goes to bed every night, and although he doesn’t know it he relies 100% on us to keep him safe overnight.”
Jedi is crucial in Luke’s ongoing battle with the disease, letting Nuttall know when Luke’s blood sugar is too high or too low.
“Amidst a disease that does everything in its power to make life so much harder, this is a picture of loyalty and love and perseverance,” she wrote. “A reminder that we will not let diabetes win, that we will never give up, and that we will always fight for our children.”
Luke is lucky to have Jedi fighting with him.