In 2004, when Julia Duprey was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was just six years old. Her body is unable to produce insulin, which makes it hard to control blood sugar and can become fatal if not taken care of.
The young college student was put on a wait-list for a diabetic alert dog, and after two years, her wish finally came true. Duprey was able to adopt her new service dog through CARES.
14-month-old Pretzel is trained to alert Duprey when her blood sugar levels are dangerously low or high. They are trained by scent and are amazingly able to detect the glucose levels by scents that come from their owner’s breath and palms.
When Pretzel smells a sweet or fruity scent, it means Duprey’s levels are high, and when he smells a sweaty scent, it means they are low. When either of these happen, Pretzel will either stare at Duprey or bark at her to alert her.
Before having Pretzel, Duprey kept track of her levels with a device in her leg called a Dexcom. Unfortunately, the device wasn’t aways very accurate, which caused a lot of anxiety.
But now that she has Pretzel, she has a new sense of freedom. She’s now able to move to a college dorm and not have to worry about fainting or sleeping through an alert.
Not only is Pretzel a lifeline for Duprey, but she is also her best friend. She sleeps with Duprey every night and always keeps her company.
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