After a car crash left a veteran in the hospital, he never imagined that it would end with him losing his cherished dog.
Air Force veteran, Larry Peteet from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, was driving home on October 16, 2018, when he fainted behind the wheel and crashed. After first responders arrived, before he was taken to the hospital, he was asked what should be done with his white Labrador retriever, Sandy Girl.
Peteet asked for Sandy Girl to be taken to his neighbor so that she could be cared for while he was in the hospital. Afterward, a police officer told Peteet that Sandy had been dropped off at the neighbor’s as requested. He didn’t think anything of it, as it all seemed like things were under control and he would be seeing his dog again.
He was discharged 3 days after being in the hospital. When he went to his neighbor’s house to pick Sandy up, he was immediately met with panic when Sandy wasn’t there.
Things got even worse when his neighbor had no clue where Sandy was. It turns out that there’d been some confusion as to which neighbor was going to be minding the dog.
Police became involved again, and they eventually learned from a different neighbor of Peteet’s that Sandy has been given away at a dog park – rehomed to someone with a black Labrador. For some unknown reason, that other neighbor that had been given Sandy didn’t know that she belonged to Peteet.
The veteran, who also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, said, “She’s my baby girl, the love of my life. I love her more than anything. So, it’s horrible.”
Without knowing who had Sandy, or where she was, Peteet was determined to track her down, while also doing his best to not “freak out” in the meantime.
“Sandy is my emotional support,” Peteet said and emphasized how important Sandy was to him. “She’s the only reason when I get down that I care about anything. She’s my lifeline.”
The distraught veteran began to distribute missing dog flyers, as well as filing a police report. Peteet also got help from Jamie Katz, a pet detective.
Photo by Tabatha MudraPhoto Illustration by Miche Ratto
Eventually, as word about Sandy got out, Katz was contacted by a man who claimed he was given the dog. He said that the dog had been abandoned.
A meeting was arranged. As soon as Peteet saw Sandy, he knew that it was his Sandy Girl, without a doubt. She didn’t hesitate to recognize her best friend either.
According to a report published by WFLA, Peteet said, “Unbelievable. I’ve been crying all morning. Just unbelievable. When I saw her, I called her name and she came running. It’s phenomenal. She’s home.”
<<<>Look Who’s Home<>>>Missing for 22 days in Lutz, FL… Sandy Girl is now SAFE & Home!!!!A good Samaritan called this morning to tell us he had Sandy Girl!!! His boss saw the news segment on WFLA News Channel 8 last night and called us right away!!! Steve (The good Sam) was given Sandy after he was told she was abandoned…. Welcome Home Sandy Girl & CASE CLOSED!!!!#lookwhoshomePI Jamie Katz#jamiekatzpetdetective#WFLA #OnYourSide WFLA Melanie Michael#caseclosed
Posted by Jamie Katz Pet Detective on Tuesday, November 6, 2018
It’s good to know that Peteet’s stressful search for Sandy ended in a happy reunification. We wish these two a long life together full of love, walks, and plenty of belly rubs.