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Specially trained dog gives peace of mind to local family

Published On: Jul 11 2013 02:58:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 04:37:51 PM CDT

Man's best friend has become a crucial companion for a 15-year-old boy.

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -

Man's best friend has become a crucial companion for a 15-year-old Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co., boy.

The $25,000 chocolate Labrador named Zuker is a life-saving investment for Matt Globosits.

"He detects my blood sugars, if they are higher or lower," Matt said.

Zuker is a 4-month-old diabetic alert dog that was delivered Thursday from a training facility in Virginia.

"It's a good feeling," said Cindy Globosits, Matt's mother. "Since his diagnosis, we just never knew when he was going to be too high or too low."

Matt was diagnosed with type one diabetes when he was 13, leading to twice nightly, potentially life-saving checks by his parents.

If Matt's blood sugar isn't regulated, he could go into a coma or even die, but Zuker is set to make sure that doesn't happen.

"When Matt goes high, it's more of a sweet smell. When it's too low, it's more acetone or metallic," said trainer Erin Gray. 

A pawing of the claw signals levels are too high; a nudge of the nose means levels are too low.

From the car to the diner, Zuker is now a constant companion for Matt. Their bond isn't cheap, but fundraisers have helped. The family, however, still needs to raise another $10,000. It will hold another fundraiser to offset the costs at the Blue Monkey on July 18.

"You don't understand it until you're a mom or dad or a type one diabetic. Then you go, 'Yeah, these dogs are great,'" Cindy said.

For the family, Zuker means a full-night's sleep; for Matt, the dog puts new meaning to the moniker, "man's best friend."