Holly the whippet was emaciated with rotting teeth when she was rescued from her squalid existence on a filthy puppy farm in Wales. It took five years under the loving care of her owner, Amy Wilton, to nurse her back to health and reclaim her vitality. Now at the age of twelve, Holly has repaid Amy's kindness tenfold by becoming her diabetic lifeline. (See; The Soldier Who Saved the Cat and Vice Versa.)
Diabetes 1 and Dangerous Glucose Level
The human body is a unique amalgam of many organic chemicals, all of which create very specific odors. Low and high blood sugar levels release chemicals in the body that have a distinct odor that is undetectable to humans. Diabetic alert dogs are trained to notify their owner of either high or low sugar spikes and declines before they reach a danger level. They have enough time to return their sugars to normal by either taking glucose sweets or injections of insulin. These specially trained dogs can provide even more than warning signs. They are essential to emotional security and building a sense of confidence and independence for diabetics. See: The Cat Who Dialed 911.)
Holly is Amy's Life-Saver
Holly can sense when Amy's glucose levels have fallen too low while she is asleep and wakes her up. Amy said: "She jumps on my bed and starts sniffing at my face and pestering me. She knows that there is something wrong and she needs to tell me about it. When it first happened, I thought it was a bit odd, but then I began thinking that I didn't feel so well. I thought I better do a test and I was low." (See: Hero Cat Takes Bullet Meant For 3-Year-Old.)
Amy's mother, Carole, who always got up to check on her daughter during the night said: "Holly is incredible. I used to have to get up in the night to check on Amy, but now Holly is with her, and I don't have to worry." Holly regularly checks Amy's breath to make sure her blood sugar levels are within normal range. Holly's nose, as is the case with all other canines, has more than 200 million scent receptors, which amounts to forty times as many as found in human noses.
In Amy's own words:
"I have seen the devastating complications that can occur when your blood sugars aren't controlled... It is life-threatening, so I have always tried to take care of myself. Holly can tell before I feel any symptoms whatsoever, which is amazing. She beats the machines. I have lost count of how many times she has awakened me in the night. She's definitely a life-saver and my shadow. She is literally everywhere i go. Holly is a once in a lifetime dog." (See: Sassy The Chihuahua.)
Here's to Amy and Holly with her incredible nose!
See also: Bretagne