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JJ Krawczyk: From shelter dog to savior for girl with rare illness

Posted by: An American Humane Association 2014 Hero Dog

JJ the dog can detect whether a little girl named KK is about to have a life-threatening reaction.

KK's Dog.jpg

Workers with the group Eyes Ears Nose and Paws saw potential in a shelter puppy named JJ — and sure enough, JJ’s nose had special talents. JJ got paired with a 5-year-old North Carolina girl named Kaelyn Krawczyk, also known as KK, who has a rare disorder called mastocytosis. Ordinary activities can trigger sudden and potentially life-threatening reactions in KK — but if JJ is nearby, the dog can sniff out trouble and alert KK’s parents that their daughter is about to have a reaction.

JJ is so good at detecting the presence of mast cells in KK that doctors are as eager to rely on the dog as the girl’s parents. When KK needed surgery in December, JJ stood by in the operating room and helped monitor her. JJ also makes it possible to attend school and participate in other activities with kids her age.

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