MOST children beg their parents for a dog...but not many can say their pet saves their life everyday.
Eight-year-old Archie Dawson was diagnosed with diabetes at just 13-months-old, which was a devastating shock for his parents, Jayne and Bill.
He now spends every moment with best friend Domino. The clever Labrador lives and sleeps with Archie, and is able to detect slight changes in his blood sugar levels by detecting changes in how his breath smells.
Mr Dawson, from Havengore Close, Great Wakering, said: “We have no history of diabetes in the family so it was a big shock. Archie is a-symptomatic so he shows no symptoms and we have to constantly monitor him.
“We both had to give up our jobs as financial advisers to look after Archie and I now work at his school so I can be on call.”
Their lives revolved round their sick child, and they began to feel lonely and scared. Things began to look up when they heard about Medical Detection Dogs.
After a long process, Archie was matched with Domino - a two-year-old Labrador who has become a permanent member of the Dawson family.
Mr Dawson added: “It changed our lives. He looks like an ordinary dog, but he saves Archie’s life everyday.
“They are best friends and he calms Archie down. If something is wrong he alerts an adult so we can act quickly. Archie’s blood sugar levels can drop in minutes so we used to be on tenterhooks.
“Archie used to be a very scared child but he is much more confident now.”
Despite his young age, Archie, a pupil at Richmond Avenue Primary School, in Shoebury, understands that Domino is there to save his life. He has proved his worth with 1,300 alerts since his arrival in July 2015.