Incredible Dog Saves Child's Life Every Day

girl portugese water dogThis is what my kids want for Christmas: A dog. This is how much I want to pay for said dog (should I choose to get one): $0. Mostly because, you know, it's better to adopt a dog in need of a home and all of that. But also because dogs that don't come from shelters are expensive!

Or so I thought, until I heard about Clifford, the $20,000 Portuguese water dog. Now that's an expensive dog! Unlike other pricey pooches, however, Clifford is worth every penny, particularly to 5-year-old Katelyn.

Katelyn, poor girl, has life-threatening allergies to foods including nuts, eggs, dairy, and peas -- she doesn't even have to consume them to go into anaphylactic shock, even the smell of pizza cooking could trigger a reaction. The smell of pizza!!

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Clifford, meanwhile, has been trained as an allergen-sniffing dog: He can detect even trace amounts of foods like nuts, eggs, or dairy, from crumbs in the grass to the scent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a piece of playground equipment. And if Clifford doesn't give Katelyn the all-clear, she knows to stay far, far away.

Before Clifford came along, Katelyn's parents were afraid she'd never be able to go to school or get a job or live any kind of normal life at all. (As a mom, I can't imagine the stress -- besides an allergen-sniffing dog, what are your options? A plastic bubble?)

But since the family got Clifford (which they were able to do with the help of fundraising and a grant), Katelyn has finally been able to have a childhood, including going to kindergarten!

Money well-spent? Uh, YES. Oh, by the way, Clifford himself only cost about $2,500. A year of allergy detection training is another $10,000; travel expenses, etc. round out the number to $20,000.

In the end, a small price to pay for your child's health and safety.

Would you consider getting an allergen-sniffing dog?


Image via OakleyOriginals/Flickr

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