UPDATE: Alert Dog Doing Well With Girls Who Have Type 1 Diabetes

By  | 

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- UPDATE:
Shadow has been with the Connelly family since November 2014 and the family says Shadow is doing great.

Shadow is constantly going through training.

The Black Lab will alert Kaitlyn and Kylee if their blood sugar levels are out of the designated range.

Recently the Connelly family went to the park and with Shadow there to keep an eye on the girls, the family was worry free.

The Connelly family says Shadow is fitting into their family perfectly.

ORIGINAL STORY:
Two young sisters in North Platte are getting help from a service dog to help manage their Type 1 Diabetes.

The one year old puppy will alert someone when the disease gets out of hand.

Tim Connelly knew with both of his daughters having Type 1 Diabetes they needed help.

His wife Liz did some research on Diabetic Alert Dogs and found the company Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.

"We knew it was going to be life changing," said Tim.

That is when they decided to purchase the service dog.

Connelly says Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disease. It's where your pancreas decides it just doesn't want to produce any more insulin.

"It can happen to anybody"

So 11-year-old Kaitlyn and 4-year-old Kylee have to be mindful of their blood sugar level.

"I am one of those kids that can't tell when I'm dropping out of range," said Kaitlyn.

It's not an easy task for two young girls, but that is where Shadow helps.

The one year old Diabetic Alert Dog can sniff out when Kaitlyn or Kylee's blood sugar levels are out of the designated range.

The puppy will then alert mom or dad.

"It's all based off of scent. When a diabetic's blood sugar goes high they smell sweet and syrup-ee when they go low it's more of an acetone or metallic that the dog picks up on," said Trainer Erin Coulter, with Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.

Coulter says with the proper training over the next two years, Shadow will learn how to get juice for the girls out of the refrigerator and even call 911 if something is really wrong.

"It's definitely peace of mind that there is someone else there that can smell whats going on when you can't and let you know something is wrong," said Coulter.

For the Connelly girls, Shadow maybe the key to saving their life one day.

"I think about that often... You always think about stuff like that," said Tim.

Connelly says with Shadow around he can rest easier knowing man's best friend is on the job.

As for Kaitlyn and Kylee, they are busy welcoming Shadow to the family.

"I'm just really, really happy," said Kaitlyn.