7-year-old Luke lives each day at the mercy of a disease dealt with by less than 5% of diabetics. Managing type 1 diabetes means constant monitoring, countless needles, and a never-ending fear no child or family should have to endure.
Luke’s official diagnosis five years ago blind-sided everyone, but his family realized now how much he needed them to be strong.
When 11-week-old Jedi entered the picture, things became a little easier to bear. Jedi is a diabetic alert dog, and he lets Luke’s mom and dad know when their son’s blood sugar levels are too high or low. Extremely intensive training tailored to Luke’s exact needs has given Jedi has a 98% accuracy rate.
An emotional post on the Saving Luke Facebook page reads:
[Jedi’s] alerts often beat the meters and he saves Luke from lots of the crummy feelings and health issues that go along with each […] but Jedi’s job goes beyond alerting, he also saves Luke from being alone, from being scared, he is his constant companion.
Dorrie Nuttall, Luke’s mom, is acutely attuned to Jedi’s signals. When his boy’s blood sugar is low, Jedi bows. When it’s high, he waves.
Here are a few of the things Jedi has learned this week. "Watch" is an important command -he has to give me eye contact…
Each time Jedi signals, he carries a “bringsel,” a device diabetic alert dogs use to warn their humans when they need to check their blood sugar.
In a post that has since gone viral, Nuttall shared a very frightening story that highlights the seriousness of type 1.
Everyone was asleep, including Luke, but when Jedi noticed something was wrong he laid on top of Nuttall until she woke up. The pup bowed deep, indicating a drop in blood sugar.
No alarms were going off, no one was checking blood, no one was thinking about diabetes, and it’s in those moments when our guards are down, when we are just living life, when we let our minds drift from diabetes, that it has the upper hand—and things can get scary very fast… but thankfully we have a Jedi.
Luke’s dog is on duty nearly all hours, and he does whatever it takes to keep his boy safe. The bond these two share is unmatched and, quite frankly, almost a little too cute to be true.
“This you see right here was not trained,” writes Nuttall beside a photo of Luke and Jedi during a glucose monitor insertion. “[S]eeing this love helps me deal with the fact that I can’t make the needles go away.”
As Luke’s family continues to say, until there is a cure, they have a dog.
And if Jedi has anything to say about it, no danger will come to Luke while he’s around. Thanks so much for all you do, Jedi! And a special thanks to Canine Hope for Diabetics for providing such a wonderful friend.