BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Meet Sugar, a four-month-old golden retriever puppy who is being trained as a diabetes alert dog.
"This is actually my second diabetic alert dog, and the other one also went to Michigan to my 17-year-old cousin," said Alexa White.
White is a professional certified dog trainer who has trained K9s to assist with a variety of conditions. Right now, she's in the beginning stages of Sugar's training.
"We start with this kind of ball. It has a canvas bad in it with a cotton ball that her owner soaked in his saliva when he had low blood sugar," said White.
Sugar belongs to a 13-year-old Michigan boy with diabetes. She's been trusted to White for the next 12-15 months for training. When she's finished with training, Sugar should be able to not only sniff out a diabetic emergency, but even retrieve necessary items for her owner.
"Luna can retrieve an orange juice out of the refrigerator from any room in the house and bring it to my cousin when he is having a low blood sugar to raise his blood sugar," said White.
Sugar will also undergo some pretty intense obedience training since she will likely accompany her owner everywhere he goes.
"The first few weeks we teach them muscle memory so they learn that's where they're supposed to be," said White.
White's other dog, Frank, is being trained to be either a bomb or cadaver dog. She plans to contract him out to assist law enforcement.
Trained service dogs don't come cheap. White says it can cost anywhere from $20-30K for training.