HOUSTON (FOX 26) - You expect to see horses and farm animals at Rodeo Houston, but probably not a dog.
We got to meet up with a talented pooch named Zeke, who has a special mission in life. His important job helps a teenage girl show her horse at the rodeo.
He's way more than a pet to 15-year-old Madison Brown from Crosby. He's a seizure alert and response dog!
Zeke is one of the reasons Madison is able to show her horse, Warrior, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!
"If I'm about to have a seizure, he'd start pawing at me! If I don't get the hint, or if I'm too busy, he'll start pulling on my clothes to sit down," says Madison.
Zeke actually senses her seizures before she experiences them and can give her plenty of warning before it happens. He can also activate her "life alert", if no one else is around.
Madison has been dealing with epilepsy for years and used to have seizures every day.
New medications have helped lower that amount, but Zeke is always on stand-by and ready to rush into action.
"If I started having a seizure right now, I would just sit down and start having him do what they call deep pressure therapy. There are pressure points in your thighs, and he's trained to lay on top of me and that's supposed to help soothe and relax you," says Madison.
Her mom and Zeke work together to keep Madison safe.
"Once I'm in seizure, he'll roll me on my side, or he'll go and get help. He'll go to someone and spin two times and they'll know something has happened to me," says Madison.
"Whenever she's riding, I always have him where he can see her and that she's okay, because if she's out of sight, he goes into panic mode, because he wants to make sure she's okay all the time," says Madison's mom, Sherri.
Madison has been riding horses most of her life. Now Zeke is helping her continue to do it.
"He has been a Godsend to us! He has totally changed her life to have independence. For so long, she couldn't go and do things that any other 15 year old girl could do," says Sherri.
"This (showing her horse at Rodeo Houston) is a dream come true, because I never thought I would be able to do this," exclaims Madison.
Before she found the right medications, Madison couldn't be around the flash of a camera, because it would make her go into a seizure. Now that no longer affects her, which also allows her to be in the public eye, like in the ring at the rodeo.
She wants to encourage others to never let an obstacle slow them down.
"You can put ABILITY in disability, that's how I like to think about it! Just because you have a disability, doesn't mean you can't enjoy life. You have to live life just normal and keep going one day at a time! That's exactly what he has given me, the ability to do that, so it's wonderful," Madison smiles.