Lakenyen Carter has been socializing puppies for Drey's Alert Dogs, an organization that trains diabetes and autism service pups, since school let out in June. Last week he was volunteering as usual when one of the older dogs, Marshall, started pawing at Lakenyen. The Yellow Labrador was not begging for attention, but was giving Lakenyen an important message. Marshall is trained to paw at a person to let them know that their blood sugar is reaching a dangerous level. The pup in training was essentially telling Lakenyen that he had diabetes.
Lakenyen's parents never suspected that anything was wrong, but they immediately brought him to a doctor and the diabetes diagnosis was confirmed. Without Marshall, they might have not found out about Lakenyen's condition until he had an episode. Now they can be proactive in his treatment and care. The Carters are still waiting to find out what type of diabetes Lakenyen has (diabetic alert dogs work best with people with Type One diabetes), but perhaps Lakenyen will one day have an alert dog of his very own!
Through his volunteering, I'm sure Lakenyen is already a dog lover. But after Marshall's "diagnosis," I'm sure that Lakenyen will always feel a special connection with the animal who made such a significant impact on his life.