Lilly honors dog who saved owner's life - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Lilly honors dog who saved owner's life

Belle Belle
Belle gives her owner a sniff. Belle gives her owner a sniff.
Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A dog who did a good deed is collecting a prize. Belle and her owner, Kevin Weaver, caught the attention of Eli Lilly. The pharmaceutical giant invited the pair here as a tribute to teamwork and training.

Kevin Weaver, 35, is Belle's owner. Belle is an English Beagle purchased at the mall pet store where he used to work.

"I never thought I could love a dog as much as I love this dog," said Weaver.

Eleven years ago Weaver learned he is a type-one diabetic with hypoglycemic swings. "The past five years have gotten a lot rougher. I began with the seizures," he said.

Weaver decided to pay $19,000 for a year of training Belle as a diabetes dog. Belle hourly smells and tastes for low blood sugars on the tip of Weaver's nose. If there's no bark, there's no problem. But if there is, Weaver knows to test and perhaps inject immediately.

"She goes through all the training she went through and you sit there and you think, okay, you know she is trained for it, but will it actually work?" Weaver said.

Weaver got his first answer earlier this year. "I went into my seizure she grabbed my phone and she bit down on my number nine and which pre-programmed called 911 and the next thing I know I'm in the hospital," he said.

It's a drill Belle's passed now five times. "She basically uses her teeth to dial the 3, the 6, the 9. Any of them held down will call 911," Weaver said.

The most recent incident just was last week. "There are a lot of dogs who are trained to push a button. Something happens; they know to go push 911 from a house phone but she is the first to learn on a cell phone how to actually do it," Weaver said.

Weaver says Belle's alerts are always accurate. The dog's achievements have earned her a trip to Indianapolis for a "Lilly for Life" award administered in dog tags. It marks the first time the honor goes to a pet and not a person.

"I feel healthy and I feel very lucky that I've got Belle; that she is here for me. She saved my life," Weaver said.

Weaver now works for Disney in Orlando.

A total of six Lilly for Life awards will be awarded at corporate headquarters Wednesday night.

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