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    Dog offers new life for boy with diabetes

    NewsDog Health and WellbeingFriday 02 March 2012
    Getting a new puppy won’t just bring joy to the life of 6-year-old Wesley Webb, but it is also expected to save his life.
    Webb picked up his new puppy on March 1 at Bush Intercontinental Airport after she flew in from Virginia. The puppy, named Prixsee, is a very special diabetic alert dog that will let him know when his blood sugar is too high or too low approximately 30 minutes before he would react to the changes.
    Webb said that he was very excited to get the dog and the first thing he wanted to do when he got back to his Tarkington home was to play with her.
    “I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was 2 years old,” he said. “We have been waiting for [Prixsee] to come home.”
    Wesley has been asking his mother every day if the dog would arrive that day.
    Prixsee is a 3-month-old Labrador Retriever. She was obtained through Warren Retrievers, a dog breeding company in Virginia that also trains diabetic alert dogs.
    “One of my family members saw a show on A&E (cable station) about dogs able to tell immediately the rise and fall of blood sugar levels,” said Amber Webb, Wesley’s mother. “Once he starts to show signs, it’s already too late for us to prevent it.”
    Webb said she began doing research on the Internet about the dogs and found out about Warren Retrievers.
    “When they told me $18,000, I told them no way,” said Webb.
    However, she spoke to the CEO of the organization Guardian Angel Service Dogs, Dan Warren, who gave Webb fundraising ideas.
    The family held a benefit in November of last year to raise money to purchase the dog, which ultimately cost $18,600.
    “People have come out of the woodwork to help,” said Webb. “Here we are in a situation I never thought I would be in and Wesley gets his dog this week.”
    The benefit raised approximately $13,000 and the family still has a balance to pay on the puppy. However; they were able to receive it before paying it off.
    “Everyone I’m connected with on Facebook does benefits, bake sales, auctions and collects donations to help pay for the dog,” said Webb. “I’m very thankful that I found the company and for all the people that have helped me along the way to make this possible for Wesley. I can’t thank them enough for making this happen.”
    A representative with the company flew the dog to Houston from Virginia and will stay for four days of training with the family. The trainer will return every 90 days for one year to check on the dog and Wesley.
    His mother said that Prixsee will stay with Wesley on a 24-hour basis and go everywhere with him.
    “We are hoping that as his age progresses, the diabetes will stable out,” she said about her son’s condition.
    The most dangerous time for her son is at night when his blood sugar can rise or fall and he is unaware of the changes.
    “When it drops, he goes into seizures and convulsions,” said Webb. “He suffers from hypo[glycemia] and hyperglycemia.”
    Wesley sleeps beside his mother each night.
    In the near future, Prixsee will be able to wake up Wesley if his blood sugar level changes and she will be able to wake up another family member if Wesley doesn’t respond.
    “Prixsee will help me get more sleep at night,” said Webb. “She will also help Wesley have a little more freedom. He doesn’t get to go to anyone else’s house without me. He’ll be able to have a life that a 6-year-old boy should have. He’ll now be able to visit friends and grandma.”
    The only place that Wesley goes without his mother is school. Webb said that she doesn’t work to ensure that she is available at any time for her son.
    While Wesley and his brothers are enjoying their new family friend, Webb said the animal serves a very important purpose besides being a pet.
    “She’s here to save his life when he is not able to tell what his blood sugar is,” said Webb. “We call her Wesley’s lifelong guardian angel. She will watch over him 24/7.”
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