I have never heard of getting a service dog for someone with a severe peanut allergy. If it's safe and effective, I absolutely love the idea. I just think it's very difficult to make sure there is no peanut oil on any surface near your child. What if someone brought peanut butter crackers to the baseball game that took place right before your son's game? It just seems like it would be so easy to miss a spot where peanuts or peanut oil once sat. If a dog can detect that and give the child and the parents peace of mind, that is amazing! I love it!
FROM NBC: Imagine living with a peanut allergy so severe it could kill you. That's why the job of specially trained service dogs is critical they help sniff out dangerous items before they cause a problem.
13 year old Jeff Glazer loves his yellow lab Riley, but their bond is very unique. Riley is a "service dog". He is trained to sniff out any traces of peanuts because Jeff is extremely allergic. Life before Riley was much different. Jeff spent a lot of his childhood "inside" his house.
Jeff Glazer, Severe Peanut Allergy Sufferer:"I didn't get to hang out with my friends as much as other people did and I just didn't feel safe whenever I got to." Jeff's peanut allergy is so severe exposure it "could" be fatal.
Even casual contact with peanut residue can trigger a reaction. Jeff grew up knowing that he is not like other kids. Jeff Glazer, severe peanut allergy sufferer: "I wished I was normal, I wished I was just a normal kid who didn't have an allergy."
Jeff's parents have watched over him carefully. Lisa Glazer, Jeff's Mother: "We were just very active in constantly monitoring where he was, what he was eating, the rule has always been you don't eat anything we didn't give you." Now "Riley" is helping to keep Jeff safe.
The Glazers spent ten thousand dollars to buy Riley who was professionally trained over 8 months. These pictures show Jeff when he got Riley almost two years ago from trainer Leslie Staven. Riley was a rescue dog she saved. now this dog that someone abandoned is giving Jeff a new life.
Jeff Glazer, severe peanut allergy sufferer "He's saved me from reactions so many times, he's a real lifesaver. It's amazing. I'm able to go to movies, I can bring him over to sleep-overs and parties and have him search the food. I can actually have birthday cake at birthday parties and that kind of stuff." And everybody who comes into the Glazer's house has to be searched for peanut residue by Riley who sniffs everybody top to bottom to make sure that they're safe.
To keep Riley's senses sharp, Jeff's family has to "test" him. Here a candy in a wrapper with peanuts is hidden and Riley sniffs it out. Jeff loves baseball. Riley sniffs dugouts before his games. at school he sniffs desks and things like calculators. if peanuts are detected they are wiped down.
And while Riley plays an important role, Jeff's mom knows, his safety is ultimately up to him. Lisa Glazer, Jeff's Mother "It's a safety net, it really is. He still needs to use his head and ask questions and read labels, but we sleep a lot better."
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