Local Veteran Reunited With Missing Service Dog

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The service dog for a local Afghanistan veteran who went missing earlier this month has been found. The dog was gone for more than three weeks and it's a homecoming miracle that no one could've predicted.

"Overjoyed, just so happy that he's home," Teresa Tuttle, said.

Tuttle is speaking on behalf of a veteran named Brian.

On January 2nd, his dog Bruce got out of the backyard.

It happens all the time but for Brian, it was life changing.

He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Afghanistan.

"When Brian starts to feel anxious or overwhelmed, Bruce is there just with a touch to help Brian focus on something other than the anxiety," Tuttle said. "The dog brings his blood pressure down."

Day after day, Teresa got calls about possible sightings of the four-legged friend.

"He'd get his hopes up and eventually I just stopped telling him about the calls because it was just too hard," Tuttle said. "It was never Bruce."

But on Tuesday, Brian had a surprise visitor when he got home from work.

"As he stepped out of the truck, Bruce came running from the other side of the car and jumped into his arms and cried and cried because he was home," Tuttle said. "They both cried, they were just so happy to have each other back."

26 days after Bruce first went missing, the curious canine found his way back home.

"He is 15 lbs lighter than he was," Tuttle said. "He has some damage to his paws, being out on the road for as long as he was. He's got some holes all the way through from thorns."

Bruce is recovering and Brian is rejoicing.

"He's seen the worst of humanity and he came back feeling, bringing a lot of that with him," Tuttle said. "He said up until the point when the dog went missing, he had lost hope in humanity and because of all the support and love from everyone, it has really given him his hope back."