Dog Became Sick Boy's Guardian

December 13, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fluctuation / flʌk tʃuˈeɪ ʃən / (n.) – continuous change
Example: The fluctuations in his heartbeat made him worry.

2. afflict / əˈflɪkt / (v.) – to have mental or physical pain because of a disease
Example: I was afflicted with asthma when I was young.

3. plummet / plʌm ɪt / (v.) – to fall quickly
Example: His cholesterol level plummeted when he went on a diet.

4. acquire / əˈkwaɪər / (v.) – to get or own
Example: They couldn’t acquire the property with the money they had.

5. fundraiser / fʌndˌreɪ zər / (n.) – a gathering or event done to respectfully ask for money
Example: They held a fundraiser to raise money for his surgery.


Read the text below.
An American family is raising money to be able to keep their lifesaving dog.

Luckie, a female golden retriever, was bought by James and Rebecca Mullins in 2013 to alert them of any changes in the blood sugar level of their son, Jonah. The fluctuations come about as a result of him being afflicted with type 1 diabetes.

Before getting Luckie, the Mullins family checked Jonah's blood sugar levels every night. However, on one night, the alarm clocks they set to wake them up didn't go off, and Rebecca was barely able to save her son after his blood sugar had plummeted. After the incident, the family decided to get a service dog that will alert them when Jonah's blood sugar is at a dangerous level.

The dog they got was Luckie, a golden retriever trained by nonprofit group Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers (SDWR) to suit the family's purpose. When she senses a sugary smell, she detects that Jonah's blood sugar is high, and warns the family by putting her paw up.  When she senses a metallic smell, she detects that Jonah's blood sugar is low, and warns the family by putting her paw down.

The dog and its training cost $25,000, but the family was determined to acquire the amount for the safety of their child. In 2013, they were able to raise $2000. With fundraisers, donations, and aid from the Employee Relief Fund from Lowe's where James Mullins works, the family was able to raise additional money. As of December, the family has acquired more than $26,000 from donations on SDWR’s website.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In what ways do dogs help people in your country?
·         If you could train a dog to have a skill, what skill would it be? Please discuss your answer.

Discussion B

·         What other animals can help in saving people’s lives?
·         Why is it important for humans and animals to live in harmony? Justify your answer. 

December 13, 2015