HOUSTON – You can’t tell by looking at Wesley Webb that there’s something wrong with him, just like you can’t tell by looking at his new puppy that there’s something special about her.
But that puppy is more than a pet. To Wesley, she’s a lifesaver.
She just arrived Thursday, flown into Houston by her trainer from the Guardian Angel Service Dogs training facility in Richmond, Virginia.
"She’s cute, and she’s gonna save my life from all these diabetes that I got," Wesley said.
Wesley’s pancreas produces no insulin at all, so his blood sugar swings out of control. If he doesn’t get an insulin shot right away, he could have seizures or even go into a coma. That’s where his new best friend comes in.
The purebred black lab is trained to smell Wesley’s blood sugar.
"When the sugar level gets high, it is like a fruity, Juicy Fruit, cotton-candy smell," said trainer James Faulkner of Guardian Angel Service Dogs. "When it goes low, it is more of an acetone, fingernail polish type smell."
The dog will alert Wesley’s mom when his sugar gets to dangerous levels.
"I am very relieved of Prixsee’s arrival because now at night I don’t have to worry as often of Wesley’s blood sugar dropping in the middle of the night and me not being able to catch it," said his mother, Amber Herrin.
The family named the dog Prixsee because she will take the place of having to prick Wesley’s finger to test his blood with a special meter. In fact, the dog is faster.
"Twenty minutes before a test meter would let me know if there is a fluctuation in Wesley’s blood sugar," his mom said.
The dog comes at a high price.
Wesley’s grandfather DeWayne McCartney said they will pay $18,600.
"You don’t put a price on a child’s life," he said.
He and his wife held a benefit and raised all but $5,000. The family will pay that in installments.
"I’m glad for all of y’all that helped him get this dog, so thank all of y’all," said Wesley’s older brother, Ryan.
"It’s gonna be a good bond," said Prixsee’s trainer. "They’ll be together for a long time."
Prixsee requires a special brand of $40 dog food and specially ordered treats. She also needs to be fed fresh fruits and vegetables regularly.
You can donate to help pay for little Wesley Webb’s dog by visiting: GuardianAngelServiceDogs.org.