By John LaBarge
Indianapolis (WISH/CNN) - Dogs are often referred to as man's best friend, and for some diabetics, they are proven life savers.
Now, a joint partnership between the Indianapolis Canine Assistant Network and Eli Lilly is training dogs to detect low blood sugar attacks in diabetics.
This 2-year-old black lab can smell out when a diabetic's blood sugar gets really low.
"A dog is 10,000 times more sensitive to smell then we are they have entire chamber of receptors in their nose just for smell," said Dr. Dana Hardin.
Pete and Dr. Hardin come to work together. Hardin is leading a study at Eli-Lilly to figure out what's inside a dog's nose that detects low sugar in people with Type 1 diabetes.
She hopes what's learned from Pete will save lives across the county.
"We are hoping at ICAN with our partnership here with Lilly to standardize how dogs are trained for hypoglycemia alerts so it can reproduced by other programs," said Hardin.
Low blood sugar attacks can cause a person to suddenly pass out. It can mean a trip to the hospital, even death. Dogs like Pete are trained to detect changes in a person's body chemistry to avoid big problems.
"He is going to start soft right if he does not get my attention he is going to start raising his head and bumping me and if he does not get my attention he is going to crawl up on my lap and if that doesn't work he is gone to get someone else to help me out," said Hardin.
Hardin hopes that in a year's time the mystery of how Pete's nose knows so much can be solved.