AUGUSTA COUNTY -- Beth Wine's 5-year-old son, Noah, has two uncommon diseases and a new best friend called Dexter.
“The dog will give him independence to go, and I can relax a little bit, maybe even sleep at night knowing that there is another set of eyes on him to help us monitor where his sugars are,” said Wine.
Noah's body makes too much insulin. His levels often drop, not rise, when he needs help.
His blood sugar drops often. It dropped seven times from excitement when he met Dexter on Sunday. His parents hope Noah will feel better with Dexter by his side.
Dexter can smell when Noah's blood sugar drops, so that way his parents can step in and give him something, like juice, to bring those levels back up.
Trainer Cheri Campbell, with Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers,
knows how dogs can help families and how ashamed kids can feel about their disease.
“For the kids, you don't see it on the outside, but there's that there. You know how kids are. The dog kind of bridges a gap between things and gives the kid more freedom,” said Campbell.
Wine said having the dog will make her job as a mother a little less stressful.
“The dog will help me be able to relax as his mom a little bit. I don't know that as a mother you can ever relax, but, you know, just to give me a little bit of extra help while he's growing up and be independent,” said Wine.
Wine hopes her son and Dexter will form a friendship that lasts and maybe saves Noah's life.
“I think we've got a perfect fit with these two.”
The Wine family hopes Dexter grows up with their son.
To find out more about service dogs, you can reach Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers at www.sdwr.org or by phone at (540) 543-2307.