If it wasn’t for her labrador Ruby, three-year-old Faith Wilson probably wouldn’t be alive.
Faith suffers from a rare form of infant diabetes and if her low blood sugar levels aren’t noticed in time, she suffers a seizure or coma, which could be deadly.
Ruby can smell a change in Faith’s metabolism right before her sugar levels drop. She is trained to then pick up a specific type of toy and bring it to Faith’s mother, Sarah Wilson.
Related: Celebrities with Diabetes and how they cope.
"It's a very difficult disease to manage and I always tell people, basically it's organ failure and you have to live your life on life support," Mrs Wilson told US news station KLTV.
Ruby has made a huge difference to the Wilson family’s quality of life.
“Night times were the worst. I used to have panic attacks every night and wake up and run to her bed, holding my breath, just hoping she was alive,” Mrs Wilson said.
As we reported last week, dogs that alert their diabetic owners when their blood sugar is low are now being trained in Australia.
In Texas, where the Wilsons live, diabetic alert dogs cost more than $10,000. So it’s thanks to church and community donations that the Wilsons were able to afford Ruby.
“I can't imagine life without Ruby. I know if it weren't for her I would have already buried my child,” Mrs Wilson said. “I can't even put into words what that dog has meant for our family.”
Rachel Thornton, director of service programs at Wildrose Kennels in Mississippi, where Ruby came from, says specific dogs are chosen to help people with diabetes.
“It's a very researched, very scientific breeding to produce the quality of dog we're looking for,” Thornton said. “We breed for scent ability and temperament, and it yields a dog that has done very well as a diabetic alert dog.”