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A boy's best friend: Diabetic alert dog sniffs and saves

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- On any given day, you'll most likely find Camdyn Hickson and his dog, Bindi, in the backyard of their Dubuque, Iowa home playing catch.

Camdyn Hickson and his diabetic alert dog Bindi

However, between games, they've got an important job to do.

"She'll like put her nose on someone's leg or arm or hand or something and that's a low, and another paw is a high," Hickson said.

Bindi does this because she's a diabetic alert dog.

She sniffs the young boy, who has Type 1 Diabetes, and can tell if his blood sugar is high or low.

Right now, she's still being trained, so as Hickson is checking his blood sugar, he lets her sniff the blood on his finger.

After she sniffs, she paws at Hickson, signaling that his blood sugar is high.

Hickson checks the blood himself, and confirms she's right.

"Good high, Bindi," Camdyn and his mom, Janel Hickson, say to Bindi as they give her a treat.

If it would've been low, Bindi would have touched him with her nose.

Janel says Bindi is much more accurate than the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) they use now.

"It's a great tool but it's not always accurate either," she said. "The CGM can say that he's within a good range, like 115, but his blood sugar is actually really high or really low."

Janel says when his blood sugar is off, the CGM beeps twice. However, she says Camdyn often ignores the beeping, and it's easy for Janel to miss it altogether.

They believe they won't ever miss a signal with Bindi around.

"If she's going to come and sit on top of you or paw you in the middle of the night, you're gonna wake up you know and you're going to know there's something wrong," Janel said.

In the future, Bindi will also be able to call 911 for Camdyn.

"She will be able to eventually call 911 on a special device, too, which we don’t have yet but we will eventually get put in our house," Janel said.

Bindi came from Virginia non-profit

 Service Dogs By Warren Retrievers.

Trainer Cheri Campbell says she trains with Camdyn and his family for four days. Then, they check back in every 3-4 months for 18 months.

They're wrapping up Binid's training, but once Bindi and Camdyn know each other well, she will go everywhere with him.

Janel said, "He’ll be able to stay home alone once he’s a little bit older and they’re working well together and all of that.”

Read the original version of this article at kcrg.com.