Service dog that helps with PTSD is missing

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jan 06, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-06 23:27:01-05

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, VA (WTVR) -  A service dog with a special purpose has been missing for five days.

A Desert Storm veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder is now on a new mission-- here in Virginia.

Karren Coober has been in the woods everyday this week looking for her lost dog, Tia.

Tia is no ordinary dog; it's one that Coober said she can't live without. The dog is a special friend, a German Shepherd service dog.

Tia’s name has echoed through acres and miles of dense forest since New Years Eve, when she went missing.

“Since she's gone I haven't been anywhere, she was my lifeline to the outside world,” Coober said.

Coober is on 100 percent disability after suffering a brain injury in desert storm. It’s an injury that's caused years of post traumatic stress and seizures, she said.

Tia has been trained to support Coober when the panic attacks strike, or when even worse medical conditions arise.

"She alerts me prior to having a seizure and alerts me to take my medicine,” said Coober. “She's everything to me.”

Tia the service dog last seen off of Meherrin Road in Prince Edward county. Hunters have been looking for her since New Year’s Eve.

Coober fears that something else has happened to the dog."Somebody has her, I can feel it in my heart."

The search has probed miles and miles of forest, with every direction checked and re-checked, Coober said.

"We’ve been on the highways, we’ve been on the back roads and we watch the buzzards to see if there is anything,” said Coober.

Coober has handed out flyers and posted them on local store fronts with hopes that someone in tiny town can bring Tia home and help to fill a huge hole in her heart—and her life.

If Tia is not found, Coober can apply for new dog with the government.