Diabetes can be especially tough to regulate in children, but a new four-legged friend is giving one North Texas family peace of mind.
Snack time is a treat for most 5-year-olds at Primrose School of Highland Village, but the break for food is essential for Lily Simonton.
"She goes through so many things that normal kids do not," her mother, Angie Simonton, said.
Lily's blood sugar levels must be closely monitored, which can be a challenge for her mom and teachers. But an extra set of eyes and nose is always nearby after an addition was made to the family this summer.
Charlie, a British lab, serves as a diabetic alert dog.
"He loves her, and when he is at school and at home, he watches her constantly, and he never, ever stops," Simonton said. "Charlie is a guardian angel."
Charlie detects Lily's blood sugar levels through scent as they rise and fall.
"We found Wildrose Kennels in Oxford, Miss.," Simonton said. "I realized that is what I needed, that was the missing piece."
Charlie alerts Lily's mother or teachers when her levels need checking, putting everyone at ease.
"It's like having that extra person who is constantly her companion," said Jyoti Sangha, owner of Primrose School of Highland Village. "That frees up our mind to focus what is going on over here and kind of takes the worry off of us.
Even Lily knows that Charlie is more than a girl's best friend.
"He saves my life," she said.
Life for the playful preschooler hasn't been easy. Simonton remembers the day her child was diagnosed with diabetes.
"It's the scariest thing in the entire world," she said. "It's horrible to know that you cannot fix what is wrong with them."