Updated 09/19/2012 10:52 PM
Army Vet Reunited With Service Dog
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
It's been a nine-day journey full of emotion for Josh Merrell.
"I had a lot of breakdowns," said Merrell.
The Army veteran, diagnosed with PTSD, lost his dog Raven after the two were involved in a car crash earlier this month at the intersection of Route 332 and 96, in the Town of Farmington.
"All those days, I was out there looking. I lost hope a couple of times," he said.
Looking until he got a phone call Tuesday from the owner of a Farmington recreational supply business.
"One of our drivers came back after his run and saw a dog running around in our enclosure in here and came up and said that we had a dog out here," said Joel Strub, Morgan's Recreational Supply, employee.
Strub says he and other employees heard about the lost dog and had a feeling the dog roaming around their fenced in lot was it.
"I know he had been looking in the area of these woods out here and that's apparently where she was most of this time," said Strub.
So after fencing the dog in, Strub says they called Josh.
"He was excited. He was just beside himself, the dog was too. The dog just came right up to him and the hugged and they kept walking over," said Strub.
Strub captured the reunion with his cell phone camera.
"You know, it's just a great story, and if you'd been here I think everybody was choked up a little bit just seeing the two of them together at their reunion," said Strub.
Josh and Raven are now home together.
"I'm relieved. I'm actually rested. It's like having a missing family member come back to you," said Merrell.
He describes finding his friend as surreal.
"I thought I was really dreaming again. I had a lot of dreams that I found her and that was really surreal," said Merrell.
Josh says he was so overwhelmed by the community's support he's been inspired to give back by starting a group called Raven's Rescues, to help find other missing dogs.
"My faith in humanity jumped up so now I think I need to do something to kind of prove that I appreciate what other people have done for me," said Merrell.