Allergic Girl Uses Peanut-Sniffing Dog

Rock'O's Training May Save Riley's Life

A dog trained to detect the presence of peanuts may help save an 8-year-old girl's life in Monument.

Riley Mers has such a strong allergy to peanuts that stepping on a shell once burned her foot.

"I'm use to it by now," said Mers

Now the Monument girl is getting some help in avoiding peanuts: a dog named Rock'O.

The dog has been trained to detect the presence of peanuts before Riley's allergies kick in.

Rock'O was trained at the Florida Canine Academy under a master trainer who usually trains dogs to detect bombs, narcotics, flammable materials and bed bugs. This was his first dog trained to help someone with peanut allergies.

Riley's mother Sherry said the dog is giving her daughter a new chance to experience life. She always feared her daughter would fall victim to side effects of her allergy.

"You have someone so reclusive that they become withdrawn from the world," said Mers. "And that was not going to be my kid."

Sherry Mers has been so inspired by what Rock'O has done for her daughter that she started the group Angel Service Dogs. It helps match other children with allergies and epilepsy with service dogs.

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