HAMPTON -- 'Most of them,' began 10-year-old Wyatt Zajdel, 'it just happens, and, then, when I wake up, I have an IV in my arm, and all that, and, then, I'm like, 'Uh, Mom, what happened?''
In the past 6 years, the Tucker-Capps Elementary School student has had 14 seizures related to his Type I Diabetes.
'It's rough, but you can get through it as long as you're confident,' Zajdel said of living with Diabetes.
A recent addition to the household is helping to protect Zajdel and his 8-year-old brother, Lucas, who also has Type I Diabetes.
Skittles is a puppy who comes from Diabetic Alert Dogs by Warren Retrievers.
'They do a scent recognition training and choose the dogs that pass the test with flying colors, and those are the dogs that are places as Diabetic alert dogs,' explained the boys' mother, Liza Kazee.
'A person's blood sugar, when it changes, their scent changes,' she told 13News. 'The dogs are able to detect when that scent is off.'
Price for a dog and the training, which includes in-home visits for several days 3 times a year, is $17,000.
'It's every parents decision, but it's about keeping your kid safe, and if this, you know, if he can keep my kid from having one seizure, he's done the job, you know. The money was worth it,' said Kazee.
Although glucose monitors are supposed to let you know when the blood sugar is going out of range, Kazee said there often is a delay. In the short timeSkittles has been on the job, he has noted problems with the boys' levels as soon as they started leaving the normal 100-150 range.
'He'll jump on me, bite me on my ear,' offered Zajdel, 'but for Lucas, he'll just sit right next to him or try to come to him.'
'When they check their fingers, we involve him. We make it exciting for him, you know. We call him over: 'Let's check Wyatt. Let's check Lucas,'' described Kazee of some of the training and bonding process. 'He sits or jumps on them, and, then, checks while they're doing it, and if it's high or low, we 'treat' him. We give him a treat for doing a good job.'
Because of the high cost, the family continually raises funds, and Warren Retrievers' Guardian Angel Service Dogs assists it and others in covering the price of the dogs.
The boys named Skittles after their favorite candy. Kazee told 13News if their blood sugar drops, 10 pieces of the sugary treat brings their levels back into the normal range. Skittles already is going to stores and church with the family, sporting his bright orange service dog vest. Eventually, he will go to school with the boys.
'He's taken over my pillow, so I end up sleeping at the end of the bed,' shared Zajdel, pointing to the only drawback.