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Family gets service dog for son's diabetes

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:29:25 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 16 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

A family in Coeburn, Virginia has a new pet, but she's not just any pet; she's a service dog to help their son with juvenile diabetes.

COEBURN, Va. -

A family in Coeburn, Virginia has a new pet, but she's not just any pet; she's a service dog to help their son with juvenile diabetes.

We first introduced you to the Mullins family in June when they were working to raise money to get the dog. Click here to read more.

To the average dog the command 'shake' means give your paw. To five-month-old Luckie it means something is wrong with seven-year-old Jonah Mullins.

Jonah has Type I diabetes and Luckie is his new service dog. The family just got Luckie after struggling to sleep through the night, concerned about Jonah's blood sugar levels. "It's a constant worry, it really is. He'll never be regulated," says Jonah's mom, Rebecca Mullins.

Several times a night Jim and Rebecca Mullins would get up to check Jonah's levels; now, that’s Luckie's job. “If they start going higher it's a sugary smell that she detects. If they start going lower it's more of a metallic or acetone smell," explains Erin Gray, a trainer with Virginia-based nonprofit group Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers.

Gray is in Coeburn with the Mullins family training them and Luckie.

It's only a few days in and already Luckie is doing her job. In fact, during our interview Luckie became anxious and showing signs that something wasn't right. Sure enough, Jonah's blood sugar was low. "He just went down to 47 and without the dog we may not have checked him," says Jonah's dad, Jim Mullins.

A dog with this kind of talent comes with a big price tag of $25,000, but the Mullins says she's worth every penny. "Just for the dog to give him the comfort, there's really no price you can put on that," adds Jim Mullins.

The Mullins say they've held fundraisers and received help from the community to pay for Luckie.
For more information about the organization Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers visit http://www.sdwr.org.