Dogs have the ability to do some of the most amazing things. They help lead the blind, find missing people, and even help police catch bad guys. You’ve probably never seen a dog who can help detect diabetes in a human. In fact, we may have found the only one like her in the San Antonio area.

Tristin is a pretty typical 11-year-old boy. He loves sports. He’s very energetic, and he absolutely adores his dog. Sasha is his 2-year-old Weimeranar.

They’re inseparable. Wherever he goes she goes, even to school.

Sasha is a diabetic alert service dog, the only one we know of near San Antonio.

Tristin has Type 1 Diabetes. His body doesn’t produce insulin, the hormone that turns things like sugar and starches into energy we all need to function every day.

Tristin told us, “I’ve had it since I was 3. I’ve gone through some rough times, I guess.”

In fact, diabetes has nearly killed him. His mom, Jodie, teared up when she told us what happened about a year ago. She said one morning, she went to wake up Tristin for church.

“When he stood up, his eyes were very glassy and um,’ Jodie paused to compose herself, “He fell to the floor and he went into a seizure.”

The experience was so traumatic, she explained the sound of his screams haunt her to this day.

She said, “I just talked softly to him in his ear, and said, ‘It’s going to be okay.’ He started yelling, ‘He’s here! He’s real.'”

Jodie said Tristin explained “He” was the Lord.

Tristin recovered, but his mother did not. She was more terrified and determined to find help. She read about a place in Missouri that trains diabetic alert dogs.

The organization is called Heaven Scent Paws, one of only a few in the US. There was a 5-year waiting list, but because Tristin’s condition was getting worse, he wasn’t growing or gaining weight, Heaven Scent Paws bumped him to the top.

That’s where he met and trained with Sasha. She’s been taught to detect a drop or rise in his blood-sugar levels, just by smell.

We caught up with them at Tristin’s school to see Sasha in action. Whenever his levels changed, Sasha jumped up and bopped him on the nose. He checked his level, and found they were low.

Tristin’s levels tend to rise and fall fast, so catching it early is vital.

Now, we were only visiting with Tristin for a few minutes before Sasha alerted twice. On the second alert, he found his levels were too high.

In minutes, Tristin’s blood-sugar level spiked from 72 to over 200. It wasn’t life-threatening, but there have been close calls.

These dogs can cost as much as $25,000, and the doctors we talked with don’t believe it works.

Doctor Sherwyn Schwartz is the founder and CEO of DGD Research in San Antonio, one of the largest diabetes research facilities in the country. He says there is no scientific research that proves diabetic service dogs work.

“Would I have my patients look into it? Certainly. Would I have them buy anything before it’s proven? No,” said Dr. Schwartz.

It’s nothing Tristin’s family hasn’t heard before, but they say they have all the proof they need.

News 4’s Delaine asked the owner of Heaven Scent Paws if she wanted to comment about the medical community’s view on diabetes service dogs. She said there’s no need, she knows they work.

Meantime, Tristin’s family is holding a fundraiser to help cover the costs of the dog. Learn how you can help…