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Utah Veteran Searching For Missing Service Dog

KEARNS, Utah — A disable Utah veteran who served in the U.S. Navy is searching for his 2-year-old service dog that went missing on Oct. 24.

“She’s just a sweetheart. Kind. Loving,” Colton Clausing said of his dog, Arie. “You don’t realize how much you value something until its gone.”

On the night of Oct. 24, Clausing and his brother Austin found their back door opened and both Arie and Austin’s dog, Moki, missing.

Austin breeds and trains dogs and his dog Moki had learned how to open the back door on his own. Clausing believed his dog Arie followed after Moki that night to play before they both crawled underneath the fence and got away.

Clausing roamed the streets for hours with no luck, until he got a call from animal control services.

Unfortunately, the news wasn’t good. Moki’s body had been found in the street a couple of miles away from their home. The Clausings were told he had been hit and killed by a car.

And then there was still the question of where Arie was.

“They said that they didn’t find her,” Clausing said. “There’s been no sight of her.”

For the last two weeks, there’s been an empty space on Clausing’s couch. Arie’s crate in the living room is a daily reminder of her absence.

“It’s been hard without her,” he said. “You start getting discouraged.”

Worst of all, there’s been a constant struggle of living without her support.

“The stress of not being able to see her again is unbearable, to where I don’t eat anymore. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight because of it too,” he said. “You just don’t find any motivation to do anything throughout the day.”

It’s the sort of loss, perhaps, that only military veterans or others suffering from PTSD would understand.

“Loved it. Traveled the world. Saw a lot of good people,” Clausing said of his six years of active duty in the Navy. He continues to serve in the reserves on weekends.

“But with a lot of military experience, comes some not so great stuff,” he added. “She’s been a huge support. She’s been a big impact.”

Clausing has spent hours searching for her, handing out flyers and setting up posters around town. He said the toughest part has been facing the unknown.

“You don’t know if she’s safe,” he said. “At the same time, you try to keep the best open mind that she is out there. She’s safe. She’s alive.”

For Clausing, his companion, his support and his service dog couldn’t come home soon enough.

“We just hope to get her back honestly,” he said.

Clausing is offering a $500 reward for her safe return.

KSL 5 TV Live

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