Sammy Nickalls
March 09, 2016 11:36 am

Dogs are our companions, our best friends, our family. But for seven-year-old Luke Nuttall, his black Labrador, Jedi, isn’t just his best friend — he’s his guardian. In fact, if it weren’t for his service dog, Luke may not be here today.

Last week, mother Dorrie Nuttall posted a picture on Facebook of Luke, who has type 1 diabetes, with Jedi standing by his side. The post has since gone viral, with over 180,000 shares and 370,000 likes.

“This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more,” she wrote in the post. “This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy. Saving him from highs and lows and from ever feeling alone.”

Dorrie explained how in the middle of the night, Jedi sensed that Luke’s blood sugar was low. He jumped on Dorrie’s bed and laid on top of her until she woke up, prompting her to measure her son’s blood sugar levels. The meter read 57 mg/dl — a dangerously low number. “Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range,” she wrote.

Luke was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — a form that just 5% of the American population has — at age two. “We don’t have a single member of our family [with diabetes]. I knew nothing about it. Nothing,” Dorrie told CBS News. “A lot of kids die almost at diagnosis. People don’t know the warning signs.”

Although there are various tools and alert systems used to monitor Luke, Jedi is a living, breathing alarm system. The heroic pooch is trained to detect and alert Dorrie of Luke’s highs and lows throughout the day and night. Jedi reports to Dorrie with a bringsel — a device service dogs can use to signal their human is in danger — and by bowing down. “They love each other,” Dorrie told CBS News. “I can’t explain their connection; it’s very strong and very beautiful.”

“Jedi’s job goes beyond alerting, he also saves Luke from being alone, from being scared, he is his constant companion,” Dorrie wrote in another Facebook post. “. . .We numb his arm prior but Luke still has anxiety about the insertions. Jedi knows when it’s time and he will come from wherever he is in the house and lay on Luke while we do it, I know he can sense Luke’s anxiety.”

Now, Jedi has done the ultimate service for his human and best friend — saved his life. “This is a picture of a Jedi saving his boy,” Dorrie wrote. “Amidst a disease that does everything in its power to make life so much harder, this is a picture of loyalty and love and perseverance. A reminder that we will not let diabetes win, that we will never give up, and that we will always fight for our children.”