U.S. Military veteran asks for help locating missing service dog

Published: Jun. 27, 2017 at 2:55 PM CDT
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We call them 'man's best friend' for a lot of reasons. For one local veteran, those reasons included help coping with depression after coming home from war. Now after serving all of us, that retired Marine is asking for help as he searches for his missing best friend.

"He's got little teeny freckles all over his nose. He's got flappy ears," said Wade Fairbanks, a retired Marine.

Popeye was misfit Great Dane that no one wanted due to partial blindness, no one except for a military veteran, back home and feeling like a bit of misfit himself.

"I had just gotten out of treatment for anger management and anxiety had depression issues," Fairbanks said.

Popeye fit the prescription for recovery better than any medicine ever could. The certified service dog knew just what to do when memories of time overseas started to take hold.

"He went and got his leash before and sets it by my feet, and every once in a while he'll just flip it with his nose, and he'll do that over and over again until I respond," Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks spent two decades in service to our country, and adjusting to life on the outside has been difficult. Popeye always managed to find a way to help.

Since he went missing last week, Fairbanks' heart has started to fill with fear again: this time for his best friend.

"I raised him from a pup. He's my son here, and it's been hard," Fairbanks said through tears.

After an all-out search, calls to shelters and local veterinarian offices, the dog is still missing.

I just hope someone gives him back to his rightful owner, and if not, take damn good care of him," Fairbanks said.

Popeye was last seen in East Springfield not far from Battlefield and 65. That was last Monday after a bath, meaning Popeye was wet and not wearing his tags.

Please share the KY3 Facebook post to help find Popeye.