Veteran's Tearful Reunion with Missing Dog After Car Crash Left Him Hospitalized


For some people, a dog truly is both man (and woman’s) best friend. That’s not just an old cliché.

Many of the truly lonely can only find companionship with a canine. Then there are people who suffer from various medical conditions.

The blind, the infirm, those with emotional disorders — all such folks find both functionality and comfort with their service dogs. And if those dogs should disappear, their lives turn topsy-turvy.

Just consider what happened to Larry Peteet, an Air Force Veteran from Land O’ Lakes, Florida. According to the Lutz Patch, Peteet was a former military member who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unbeknown to Peteet, he also had a heart condition. That condition caused him to black out while driving on Oct. 16.

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His service dog, Sandy Girl, was in the car at the time. Peteet quickly regained consciousness, and when a first responder asked him what should happen to his beloved Labrador retriever, he said that they should deliver her to a neighbor.

WFLA reported that Peteet spent three days in the hospital. When he got out, Sandy Girl was nowhere to be found.

“When it first happened, it was all I could do to not freak out and lose my mind,” he explained. “She’s my baby girl, the love of my life.

“I love her more than anything. So, it’s horrible.”

The story slowly emerged. The neighbor had indeed taken possession of Sandy Girl.

But for some inexplicable reason, another neighbor had ended up caring for the white Lab. And when that other neighbor had needed to fly to California, he’d gone to a dog park and found a stranger who also owned a Lab.

Saying that Sandy Girl had been abandoned, the neighbor abandoned her in turn. Peteet had no leads, no names, no clue as to how he could find his beloved pet.

“Sandy is my emotional support,” the veteran stated. “She’s the only reason when I get down that I care about anything.”

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But he didn’t lose hope. According to CBS Philly, he hired Jamie Katz, Pet Detective.

Styling herself off of the 1994 Jim Carey movie “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” Katz tries to recover missing animals. That’s exactly what she did in Sandy Girl’s case.

Katz got a call from a good Samaritan who said that he had the Lab in his possession, and a joyous Peteet soon welcomed her back. “I’ve been crying all morning,” he said after being reunited with his beloved pooch.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
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