Meet The 3-Pound Dog Who Saves Her Little Boy’s Life Every Day
Walking down the hallways, a three-pound papillon is certainly smaller than all her classmates, but she plays a huge role in one sixth grade boy's life.
When Athan Bunger, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 5, his body could no longer regulate the sugar levels in his body, which nearly cost him his life. His family was even close to planning his funeral, according to Journal News.
Since then, Bunger has had to use a monitor to help keep him safe from scares like the one he had when he was 5. Now, at 12 years old, Bunger is using a special "device" that can detect dangerous sugar levels in his blood even before his monitor: J-Lo the service dog.
As a single mother, Rachel Bunger was relieved to learn about the possibility of using a service dog after attending a talk about 4 Paws For Ability, a group that trains and places service dogs with children who need them.
Bunger and J-Lo, named after pop star Jennifer Lopez, trained for six hours a day for nearly two weeks to learn how to communicate with each other, and now the boy and his dog are inseparable. J-Lo joins Bunger for all activities, including the hours he spends in the classroom.
"We just have another student, a little hairier," the principal at Bunger's school told Journal News. "Instead of having 1,000 students, we have 1,001."
J-Lo can use her nose to sniff out whenever Bunger's blood sugar drops below 80 or spikes above 150. Whenever she detects a dangerous level, she'll begin to lick his arm or tug at his shirt.
Sometimes she'll lick the boy's hands too, but that's for a different, more playful, reason, according to Bunger. "That's what dogs do," he tells Journal News while J-Lo sits in his lap. "They lick your hands."