Halifax soldier desperate to find lost therapy dogs
'I keep waiting for them to come through the woods,' says Sgt. Brian Tubrett
A Canadian soldier is desperate to know what has become of his two dogs that helped him cope with post traumatic stress disorder after they disappeared a couple of weeks ago following an afternoon of romping around their Timberlea neighbourhood.
Sgt. Brian Tubrett said the dogs — an eight-month-old goldendoodle name Vimy and a 16-month old bernedoodle named Goldie — normally return when he whistles.
But that didn't happen the day they went missing — on Jan. 23 — and by the evening, Tubrett grew worried.
"I keep waiting for them to come through the woods," he said. "They're not."
There is a chance one of them was hit by a car or attacked by coyotes. But what perplexes Tubrett and his family is that both have disappeared.
They've searched the neighbourhood and surrounding communities, and friends and neighbours have looked, too. The family put up posters and called veterinarians and animal shelters, with no luck.
The dogs are like his children, Tubrett said. He said he is soon leaving the military after a 28-year career.
He said tours of Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s took a mental toll. The memories can be raw and fresh, and he sometimes feels like he's constantly on high alert.
Vimy and Goldie help settle him down.
"When I'm having a moment or when I feel like crap, they sense it," Tubrett said. "[Vimy] will come over and he'll wedge his head underneath my arm. The little one will jump on my lap."
The soldier takes medication and is in therapy for PTSD, and his wife says his mental health has improved.
But Diana Tubrett said the family knows it is difficult for her husband since the dogs disappeared.
"This last couple of weeks, we've noticed a digression, I guess, or a step back in the whole progress of treatment for the PTSD," she said.
"It's been hard."