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Service dog is Fayette County student's constant companion

Right now Fayette County school students are home enjoying holiday break. For 137 of those students they deal with diabetes on a daily basis.

Students can often times find it hard to concentrate, but for one fifth grader a special gift is now allowing her to better control her disease so she can focus on the books.

When 11-year old Brianna Svetich walks the halls of Dixie Magnet Elementary School in Lexington, she is never alone.

"It's like a little companion with me all the time," said Brianna Svetich.

Her companion is furry and has a nose that knows when Brianna is in trouble.

In July, Brianna was diagnosed with type one diabetes, which means she doesn't produce enough insulin and is learning to check her sugar daily.

Along with books in her backpack she carries with her a glucometer, juice in case she goes low, glucagon if she passes out and snacks.

Right now Zoey, a goldendoodle is her constant shadow helping her manage her recently diagnosed disease.

The concern for Brianna, she might not recognize the warning signs right away. Zoey can and at night she is vitally important.

"So Zoey is sleeping, I'm sleeping she wakes up, smells the nitrogen in the air from my sugar and she starts pawing at me," said Brianna.

Zoey's nose is specially trained taking into account a dog's sense of smell is a thousand times stronger than that of a human nose.

The year old dog has helped Brianna's entire family adjust to diabetes including her twin brother Tommy. And for Brianna's mom Zoey is piece of mind.

"Once Zoey got here she got her independence back and she doesn't have to constantly think how do I feel? Is my sugar high or is it low, because that is Zoey's job now," said Susie Svetich.

So while Brianna learns, Zoey a girls best friend patiently waits by her ready for her nose to jump into action if need be.

Brianna's parents found Zoey through the National Institute for Diabetic Alert Dogs. For more information of trying to get one of these service dogs see the website below for NIDAD.


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