LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For some people, dogs are simply pets to keep you company but for others they're life savers.
That's why one Lufkin family is seeking a new service dog for their son with Type 1 diabetes.
Service dogs are more than just a companion.
"We're inseparable pretty much," said service dog owner, Sean Mcelhaney. "She's like my daughter."
"Service dogs are becoming more and more popular and more needed," said Wendy Blount, a veterinarian at the Southwood Drive Animal Clinic.
Mcelhaney's service dog, Emma helps keep him alive because at any second, his blood sugar can drop or spike without warning.
"When we got Emma, he started having a little bit more freedom, that gave me a little bit more peace of mind," said Mcelhaney's mother, Genetta Mcfarlend.
Lately Emma's health has been an issue.
"Now, she's having real bad hip displacement problems; her hips are always swollen," Mcelhaney said. "It's really hard for her to get around."
"They have to be in good health, and that can vary from time to time," Blount said. "Once you get a good service dog, they might work for life, until a health condition might prevent them from being able to work anymore."
With college around the corner, Mcelhaney will need a service dog in better health. However, that comes at a price.
"She's mine, so if I have a new one it would take the stress of always worrying about me, off of her," Mcelhaney said. "She's still going to be there when I get a new one.
The non-profit organization, Red Basket, set up a profile for Mcelhaney for others to donate.