DENVER — A Navy veteran was reunited Wednesday with his missing service dog named Cooper after he accidentally gave him away to a stranger, KMGH reports.
The joyous reunion between the Archambault family and their 4-year-old pomeranian husky mix happened at the Denver Dumb Friends League.
Cooper is veteran Phillip Archambault’s service dog.
“I’m just so glad this dog is here with me right now,” said Alta Archambault, Phillip’s wife. “I just thought he was not going to be with us anymore.”
Alta clutched Cooper tightly during their reunion. The pup had been missing for two days.
“I’m really glad. It’s been two days of sleepless nights,” she said. “Cooper in some ways is like a soldier just like his dad.”
The pup has been his constant companion since Phillip returned home from deployment in the middle east and was diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar disorder.
“He’s been with my husband for four years now. Honestly, this dog is the reason he’s still alive,” Alta said.
Phillip is being treated at the VA hospital. He walked out of the building Saturday with Cooper and gave the pup away to a stranger.
Alta explained that people who are mentally unstable tend to do things they don’t really think about. In this case, Phillip wasn’t thinking about the consequences of giving Cooper away, she said.
It was eventually discovered that Phillip had given Cooper to the Lecheminant family.
Susan and Justin Lecheminant said they turned the dog in to the Dumb Friends League with plans to adopt Cooper if no one claimed him.
Officials with the Dumb Friends League found out Cooper had been microchipped, and a scan confirmed his identity.
Alta says Phillip, who is still in the hospital, is elated.
“This journey has been really rough for me and my family. Now that he’s back I’m so happy and glad,” Alta said. “Words are not enough to say thank you to all the people that helped us to reunite with Cooper.