This is little Molly. And she’s about to prove that puppy love is a real thing. The three-year-old Australian Silky Terrier is a diabetes alert dog for eight-year-old identical twins Hannah and Olivia Weber.
Before Molly joined the family, the girls’ mum Adrienne Cottell barely slept for fear letting her guard down could mean losing her daughters.
Both Hannah and Olivia are Type 1 diabetics. Hannah was diagnosed at 18 months and, alarmingly, is also hypo unaware so she can’t tell when her blood sugars are too low – that’s where Molly comes in.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition where the body attacks the part of its own pancreas which produce insulin. Without insulin, blood sugar builds up, with potentially catastrophic consequences. There is no cure and, unlike Type 2, it is not linked to lifestyle choices.
Adrienne tells Babyology Hannah has almost died 15 times but Molly’s ability to smell ketones in her saliva has thankfully saved the eight-year-old from slipping into a coma or seizure.
“She can actually go into a coma and die and we wouldn’t even know until she started having a seizure or was in the coma,” Adrienne says.
Olivia had more than six years free of diabetes but, despite Adrienne’s best efforts, also succumbed to the same condition as her sister. Molly now goes everywhere with the girls including school.
Her greatest lifesaving act came in March last year when, before her ketone training was even complete, she alerted Adrienne something was not right with Hannah.
“When I put the girls to bed that night their blood sugar levels were normal but by 4am Molly came in and kept jumping on and off my bed so I got up to check them again,” Adrienne says.
“Hannah’s blood sugar levels had dropped so low she was about to go unconscious.”
A registered nurse, Adrienne did her best to bring Hannah’s levels up but eventually had to call an ambulance.
“If it weren’t for Molly, we really could have lost her,” Adrienne says.
Trying to secure a therapy dog for the girls was not easy due to the girls’ young age so, taking the advice of Pets As Therapy, Adrienne trained Molly herself.
“Before Molly I never slept,” Adrienne says. “It is an incredibly hard journey, I don’t think people realise how hard it is.
“I can only do the best I can, otherwise we wouldn’t even let the girls go to school. I am so grateful we have Molly.”
Molly’s achievements have earned her recognition in an eBook called Dogs of Australia – the untold stories of our canine heroes and she even has her own Facebook page.
Incredible bonds can be formed between children and their pets, providing great opportunities for adorable happy snaps such as these gorgeous photos showing the bond between a baby and his best furry friend.