New dog alerts boy to allergens - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New dog alerts boy to allergens

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4-year-old Jett McConnell and his new dog Charlie Trout 4-year-old Jett McConnell and his new dog Charlie Trout

SPOKANE, Wash. - Most people who suffer from allergies get a runny nose or sinus pressure, but a 4-year-old Spokane boy suffers from allergies so severe his body goes into shock.

His airways can close and he can have problems breathing.

Any exposure to tree nuts, their extracts or oils can be crippling to 4-year-old Jett McConnell.

"Unfortunately that leaves him to where he can't get out and about and do all the normal things that kids can do," said his Mom, Sonja McConnell.

With Jett getting ready to start pre-school, his family is turning to a specially trained dog to help detect allergens and protect their son from danger.

"My hope for Jett is that he can do most of the activities that normal kids can do," said Sonja.

The highly trained Labrador-Great Dane mix Charlie Trout cost the McConnell family $15,000

Charlie Trout is a Labrador-Great Dane mix who is trained to sit and point when he detects and trace of tree nuts.

The family says they spent about $15,000 dollars to buy, train and move the dog from Texas.

"I'd love to keep him in a bubble and keep him safe," said Sonja. "As a parent you have to just have faith that they're gonna be okay."

Sonja says keeping Jett away from foods containing tree nuts is easy, but keeping him away from other products containing nuts is much tougher.

"There's also nut oils in lotions, soaps, shampoos and conditioners," she said.

Any of those can be worn by people walking down the street and become an unwitting danger to the 4-year-old boy.

Jett suffered a severe seizure during an allergen exposure last year when his mom remembered reading an article about the special dogs that can detect allergens.

Idaho Fence donated fencing to keep the dog inside the family's backyard and the family saved for months to afford the special dog.

Charlie moved from his Texas home this weekend and met his new family a few days ago.

His family plans to spend the next several months training the dog inside their home as they take short trips into shopping areas and parks.

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