Veteran Reunites With Service Dog Lost For Six Days In Freezing Temperatures
Jan 1, 2019, 8:17 PM | Updated: Jan 2, 2019, 12:21 am
VINEYARD, Utah – At the Arballo home, things have felt a bit empty these days. Jason Arballo is a Coast Guard Veteran who was injured in the line of duty.
“I was pulling a victim out of the water during some heavy seas and big swells of 15 to 20 feet came up and hit our vessel,” said Jason Arballo.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury and now relies on his service dog, Murphy.
“She is a huge asset for me,” he said. “A huge tool and comfort for me as well.”
On the day after Christmas, while leaving a nearby store, Arballo thought Murphy was gone forever.
“I put her in the back of the truck, buckled our little boy in and drove home,” he said. “When we got back home, she wasn’t out there.”
Jason and his family spent days searching, passing out fliers, and taking to social media to spread the word.
“We were just broken,” he said. “It’s just hard not knowing what happened.”
However, on Tuesday a man working construction on a nearby storage facility about two miles away from the Arballo home found a dog matching Murphy’s description.
“We received literally 200 messages just like this claiming our dog was found, but he sends a picture and I just jumped up and went out the door,” Jason said.
Arballo rushed Murphy to the veterinarian’s office.
“He was very surprised she is still alive,” Arballo said.
The vet told Arballo that Murphy suffered injuries related to either jumping or falling out of the moving truck. However, despite spending nearly six full days outside in frigid temperatures, Murphy is expected to make a full recovery.
The entire Arballo family is grateful for the outpouring of support.
“It was literally the whole state,” he said. “We have received so many responses and people volunteering to help.
The man who found Murphy refused the $1,000 reward.
“We really tried to get him to take it,” Arballo said.
Now, the dog who is so used to serving her owner will be on the receiving side for a while.
“Maybe she has her own battle story and battle wounds now,” he said. “It’s a good way to start out the new 2019 year.”
Arballo plans to never let Murphy ride in the back of the pick-up truck again.