Diabetic senior citizens may want to ask for a canine friend this holiday season to aid them in maintaining their blood-sugar levels.
Thanks to their strong sense of smell, dogs can detect subtle changes in body scent that are created by low blood sugar, which can't be picked up by humans. These dogs are then trained to alert their owner to check their levels.
Billy Teague, 61, has an Irish setter named Malone who follows him everywhere, from the store in the middle of the day to his bedroom in the middle of the night, the Dallas Morning News reports.
When Teague's level begins to drop at night, which is the hardest time for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar level, Malone gets up and licks Teague's face to get him up, according to the article.
Once a diabetic's blood sugar drops, confusion may begin in the patient, as well as feeling faint. If levels get too low, people can go into diabetic shock.
Malone, who is approximately 3 years old, comes from the Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services program (CARES) and was trained for about 18 months before arriving at Teague's feet.