Therapy dog serves as veteran owner’s best man, be still our hearts
So, we all know the super-old (but completely true) cliché that dog is a man’s best friend. In the case of 5-year-old Golden Retriever Gabe, not only is Gabe his human Justin Lansford’s best bud, the pup was also recently served as his person’s best man.
As Yahoo reports, Lansford, a U.S. Army Vet, lost his left leg in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. When Lansford returned home, he was paired with then-2-year-old Gabe thanks to Warrior Canine Connection, a nonprofit that connects wounded soldiers with assistance dogs.
When asked how Gabe assists Lansford, the vet explained that, before Gabe, “There were things that were significantly more difficult. I have a prosthetic lubricant, I have him run and grab my spray and he’ll pick it up and bring it to me so I can put my leg on. And from there it just kind of snowballs, he’s helping me with one thing after the next. He can help me to and from the ground, if I wanted to go on the ground, I can use him as a brace and I can lean on him….he can open the door… anything I need.”
Gabe was trained by Spencer Milo, another vet who was suffering from PTSD after he returned home, and working with Gabe helped Milo transition back into civilian life. “I owe everything to Gabe,” Milo told ABC News. “I would jump in front of a bus for Gabe. In a heartbeat, you know, and I know he would do the same for me, and I know he would do the same for Justin.”
Gabe is SUCH a good dog, of course Lansford picked him to be his best man at his wedding this past weekend when Lansford married his longtime girlfriend Carol Balmes.
So how’d the service dog do as a member of the wedding party?
“[Gabe] was easy, quite frankly, a lot easier than we typically see with groomsmen at most weddings,” Hall told USA TODAY.
Good boy, Gabe, very good boy.
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Images via Twitter