Dogs Saves Diabetic Owner's Life In Metro

Friday, March 18th 2016, 7:03 pm
By: News 9

A 13-year-old Jack Russell saves her owner's life. The woman was nearly in cardiac arrest when her dog picked up on what was happening and barked for help.

EMSA gave the dog the "Everyday Hero" award. It usually goes to people, but Friday was an exception.

"When I was 11 I was diagnosed with juvenile onset diabetes,” Elizabeth Greer said.

Greer is 43 now, for years she has lived with caution. There have been some good scares along the way, and for the last 13 of those years she has had Spunky.

While Spunky  may seem calm now, her spunk is special. And just like any super hero, you only see it when there's an emergency. Tuesday night there was.

"She's been with me since she was eight weeks old,” Greer said. So I think she just kind of knows."

Spunky is not a trained service dog. Her instincts are learned, a deep bond that stretches beyond the heart. Spunky can literally sense when Greer’s blood sugar gets low.

"She seems to know when it's low, and she gets worried, and she won't settle down until it goes back to normal range,” Greer said.

Greer had checked in for the night, but her body was checking out. Her blood sugar dropped to dangerously low levels. She was fading fast.

"By the time the EMTs got here, I couldn't even swallow,” she said.

Greer had no control over her muscles, couldn't speak, and couldn't function. Her body was shutting down.

"Your brain can't function anymore, and it's almost like having a stroke at that point,” Heather Yazsanipour of EMSA said.

Spunky barked nonstop for more than an hour before getting Greer’s daughter's attention who called 911.

"This is EMSA what's the address of your emergency?"

"My mom is type one diabetic, and her blood sugar dropped."

"Normal range for me is between 80 and 120, and it dropped down to 21,” Greer said.

EMSA paramedics got there just in time.

"I don't know if I would have lived through Tuesday night,” she said.

Her life was saved by the unassuming of heroes.

"I definitely feel like she's a hero. She's my hero,” Greer said.  "It's scary, and I'm just glad that she was there."

Paramedics as well as Spunky's vet, believe the dog can smell a difference in Greer’s scent when her blood sugar drops.