Service Dog Changes Student’s Experience

Anushka Gangwar ‘19
EE Contributor

Jayson Caballero THS Class of 2022.

Before, freshman Jayson Caballero was seen as any other Trumbull High student, but now he’s the talk of the school and all eyes are on him since he started bringing Martin, his service dog, into school with him.

Caballero has a service dog for his juvenile type one diabetes and has started to bring him into school, impacting his and his peer’s high school experiences.

Although Caballero has had to live with diabetes his whole life, he has only had Martin to assist him for over three years now. His service dog can detect if his blood sugar drops by his sense of smell and will let Caballero and/or his parents know by getting “excited” to get their attention.

Caballero had previously used apps on his phone, but they are not as reliable as a service dog, and have more of a delay in the alert time, so he and his parents knew a service dog would be a good choice to help make sure he doesn’t go into insulin shock.

However, in Caballero’s first semester he had physical education and Martin does not like all of the noise and all of the people. Also, another one of Caballero’s classes, woodshop, requires him to use tools and blades, so being around those sharp objects would not be good for Martin.

Because of those two classes, Caballero started bringing Martin in once the second semester started. Martin was approved before the school year, but was just not able to come due to those two classes Caballero had.

Service dogs are not supposed to be touched, played with or pet because they will get distracted and not be able to do whatever they’re supposed to do, in Martin’s case, detect Caballero’s blood sugar level.

However, many students still ask Caballero to pet him.

“I know they want to pet him, he’s a really cute dog,” Caballero said. “They can’t pet him because it would distract him since he’s working.”

Now that Caballero is walking around with a cute lab rador retriever, he is treated very differently and is given much more attention than ever before.

Caballero said, “I’m walking to homeroom fifth period, I turn the corner and about thirty pairs of eyes look in my direction. It was kinda freaky, not gonna lie.”

Since Caballero has been getting so many looks, whispers around him, and attention out of class, you’d think Martin would be a distraction in class as well.

“The other students are distracted a little, especially at first and they see it as a pet rather than a service dog,” said Mr. Shultz, Caballero’s Global Civilizations teacher said, “so as soon as everyone realizes it’s not a pet, its a service dog and that it has a purpose, they seem to respect it.”

For most students, it was their first time ever having a dog or any animal in their classes, so it was very exciting for them. Mr. Shultz even said after a few days it was not a big deal, and everyone got used to Martin.

Mr. Shultz said, “it’s when other kids come by and the door’s open and they’re like ‘Oh hey, look at the dog! Look at the dog!’ ” This is more distracting to him and his students than the actual dog .

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