Judah, a two-week-old Husky, was precious. Emilie Swett of Effingham, NH, knew that from seeing the little puppy listed on Petfinder by Eleven Eleven Animal Rescue, Montreal. But then all puppies are darling. Judah turned out to be more than just cute; she’d had him about two years when he became precious in the full sense of the word: priceless.
In 2011, Emilie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She struggled with the diagnosis emotionally, knowing her life was no longer the “normal” one she’d been living. Checking her blood sugar frequently became a chore, particularly because it was spiking at night. Then a most unexpected thing happened.
Judah began waking her every morning at 4 a.m. After two weeks of this, Emilie’s boyfriend suggested that maybe Judah was alerting to a spike in her blood sugar level. Sure enough, it was true, so Emilie began learning how to refine his skills, and he became her medical alert service dog.
“He has become so accurate that he will alert to changes before my glucose meter picks them up,” she says. “He will get my test kit, insulin, juice and even go and alert other people if I am not responding to an alert.”
And that’s not all. One day, Emilie was waiting in a line, explaining Judah’s skill to a woman ahead of her. “Judah began breaking his ‘down stay’ and trying to walk farther back in line,” Emilie says. She kept correcting him until a woman stepped forward in the line. She had overheard Emilie’s conversation about Judah and told Emilie that she had just tested her toddler and found she was having a hypoglycemic attack. Judah was alerting on the child.
Emilie’s diabetes isn’t going away, but Judah has proven that he won’t let her (or others) ignore symptoms and can often detect them before she’s even aware. He is indeed precious. Read about Judah’s early life on Emilie’s blog.