Parenting Unusual Baby Stories

Dog Serves as a Lifeline for a Diabetic 3-Year-Old

Dogs have served many noble purposes in the world of man: they have recovered stranded men in the Alps, they have given sight to the blind, and they’ve saved lives in more ways than I have time to list! Yet the stories of dogs saving the lives of the humans never seem to grow old, do they? Each story opens up a heartwarming experience, and a reminder that dogs are wonderful and amazing creatures that have a capability to love much deeper than we often give them credit for. Such is the story of a three-year-old Texas girl and her dog.

Faith Wilson was born with a rare, severe condition that must be monitored constantly: infant diabetes. With very little warning, her blood sugar levels can plummet to almost non-existent. If that happens, a seizure, followed by death if not treated soon enough, will occur.

“it’s a very difficult disease to manage, and basically, it’s organ failure and you have to live your life on life support,” said Faith’s mother, Sarah Wilson. “Night times were the worst. I used to have panic attacks every night and wake up and run to her bed, holding my breath, just hoping she was alive.”

Through church donations and community support, Sarah was able to purchase a diabetic alert dog named Ruby for her daughter. Ruby is a very special dog. She was specially bred and specially trained to help detect if Faith’s blood sugar levels drop below 100. She does this by scent.

Before a seizure occurs, a diabetic’s metabolism will change. The change actually submits a scent that smells subtly like ketosis – a scent very similar to nail polish remover. Dogs, of course, have a better sense of smell and are able to detect the smell more accurately and more quickly than humans. If Ruby ever detects this scent on Ruby, she will bark until someone comes to answer her call.

“We breed all of our dogs and they are trained at Wildrose Kennel,” said Rachel thorton, Wildrose’s service programs director, the very place Ruby was purchased from. “We breed British labs. It’s a very researched, very scientific breeding to produce the type of dog we’re looking for. We breed for scent ability and temperament, and it yields a dog that has done very good as a diabetic alert dog.”

Sarah says that Ruby has saved Faith’s life more times than she can count over the last two years, and the comfort of knowing that Ruby is there for their daughter has improved the family’s overall quality of life drastically.

“I can’t imagine our life without Ruby. I know if it weren’t for Ruby, I would have already buried my child. So I don’t even want to think about life without Ruby,” Sarah stated.

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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