The Family Dog Does More Than Just Guard The House — He Saves Lives!

Elle Shaheen’s parents noticed a change in her behavior about seven years ago, when she was 12 years old. She became aggravated and irritated for no apparent reason and was having difficulty in school. When her conditions became worse, they discovered that she had Type 1 diabetes.

Due to her diagnosis, Elle had to test her blood sugar around 12 times a day to make sure everything was right. She had to take insulin shots every time she ate, every time her blood sugar was high, and before she went to bed. The constant monitoring was nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and frustrating. Thankfully, her family learned about diabetes alert dogs and immediately applied to adopt one. They were on the waiting list for two years, but when Elle finally met Coach, an adorable yellow lab, she knew the wait was worth it.

“The immediate feeling of relief came over me, especially the first time he alerted me,” Elle said, “just knowing that he was actually going to work.”

Coach’s presence has given the family a sense of relief knowing that Elle is always looked after. He stays by her side 24 hours a day and alerts her when her blood sugar gets too high. Stefany has even documented the beautiful bond between Elle and Coach in a book. Coach is not the first dog to help people with type 1 diabetes manage their disease. Check out the story of Max and Liam!

Medianet DBS
A. Boyea was born and raised in West Michigan. She attended Grand Valley State University and graduated with a degree in marketing. She now resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and shares a house with her husband, and their two dogs, and two cats.