A service dog with a hidden talent is helping out a little boy with coeliac disease.
Toby Hardesty, 6, who lives in Oregon in the US, has coeliac disease, a serious autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It took years for him to get a diagnosis from a doctor, Fox 6 reported.
Toby’s mum, Amy, said once the family fully understood he had Coeliac Disease she had to consider what to do while the six-year-old was at school.
She added Toby gets headaches and the whole right side of his body shuts down “like he’s had a stroke” when he’s exposed to gluten.
Ms Hardesty believed it wasn’t fair for the school to have to manage Toby’s disease.
So, she placed the responsibility in the hands, or paws rather, of service dog Hawkeye.
The community helped her raise US$16,000 to pay for the dog who sniffs out gluten before Toby can touch it.
The mum said Hawkeye was worth getting and her boy had seen “growth and development” because he’s no longer getting sick.
“She’s a life-giver,” Ms Hardesty said.
“She’s breathed life and confidence into Toby that we haven’t seen in a really long time.”
The mum added she hopes in a few years’ time her boy can go to school with Hawkeye so the dog is only called on when needed.