Luke Macner and Nina. Photo courtesy the Humane Society of Tampa Bay
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
A disabled Tampa veteran was brought to tears Tuesday when he was reunited with his service dog after she went missing in a car wreck.
"I'm a simple person. I lead a simple life. To lose something as important as this dog really, really hurt me," said Luke Macner.
The accident happened Thursday night, just eight hours after Macner adopted the Rottweiler-German Shepherd Mix through the Humane Society of Tampa Bay's Pets for Patriots program.
Two days later, the dog named Nina, showed up at Amy Abdnour's property which is just a few blocks south of the intersection where the accident happened at Causeway Blvd. and S. 50th Street in Hillsborough County.
"She really found me," said Abdnour.
"I saw her inside my fence and kind of let her be and thought, I don't know how it got here."
Abdnour quickly got attached, but asked around to see if anyone knew where the sweet 1 year-old dog came from. A worker at a nearby hardware store told her he saw a story on the news about a veteran who lost his service dog in an accident.
Abdnour took Nina to the Humane Society Tuesday morning. A vet scanned her microchip and got a match.
"I love when things have a happy ending," said Abdnour.
Macner teared up as he reunited with Nina in the garden at Tampa General Hospital.
"Just to see her when she stood up, it's like that's my baby," he said.
"It really means the world to me. There were so many people out there looking and caring."
Macner, who is missing a leg and gets around in a wheelchair, says he plans to start training Nina to help him get around as soon as he's released from the hospital.