(Senatobia, MS) A simple bark could save Knox Bittick’s life.
Bittick Is a type one diabetic, meaning his body doesn’t produce any insulin.
He and his mom have to check his blood sugar nearly a dozen times a day.
“You don’t really worry about the high sugar as much as the low sugar. It tends to drop really, really fast. And that’s why we were blessed enough to find Charles and his foundation,” said Knox’s mother Ashley.
She’s talking about the Retrieving Freedom foundation based in Senatobia, Mississippi.
That’s where they met Amy.
The puppy is being trained to help Knox stay safe by barking a possible life saving alert.
“We’re training that dog to alert to a specific smell,” said trainer Charles Dwyer.
Amy will be able to sniff out when Knox’s blood sugar level is dangerously low, alerting his parents.
Dwyer has a swab of Knox’s saliva with his low levels and hides it in a tin.
This trains Amy to pick up the scent.
“These dogs can actually change people’s lives and in a lot of cases save them,” said Dwyer.
There are many dogs at the training center in Senatobia and another location is Iowa, and they can do more than just help diabetics.
Retrieving Freedom trains dogs who work with children who have autism and veterans with disabilities like traumatic brain injuries and PTSD.
“They can read body language. They can interrupt nightmares and they can interrupt or disrupt bad behavior,” said Dywer.
It costs around $25,000 to train one dog for emotional of medical support.
For Knox and his family you can’t put a price on a new family member, and new best friend.
To learn more about Retrieving Freedom visit their website www.retrievingfreedom.org