When Seth Pilkington, 29, of Clinton, was diagnosed with diabetes, he decided he wouldn’t stop running marathons or let the disease take over his life. Now Pilkington not only has a running partner, but also a best friend who helps him keep his blood sugar levels on track.
Pilkington is one of several people in Northern Utah who own a diabetic alert dog.
The canines are trained to detect the owner’s scent; if the person’s blood sugar becomes too high or too low, the dog has a specific action to alert the owner. This “alert” can be anything from bringing the owner a certain dog toy to making signals such as pawing or nudging to get the owner’s attention.
Pilkington’s yellow lab, Ditto, is a high-energy dog and needs a lot of exercise — which is just what Pilkington was looking for. “Ditto is a perfect match,” he said. “He’s my diabetic alert and my training partner.”
Pilkington is the treasurer for the city of Layton. Since Ditto is a service dog, he is allowed to go to work with Pilkington and lie on a pad by his desk.