Beach police taking action for Marine separated from service dog

Posted at 11:58 PM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-04 14:51:58-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Virginia Beach police took action for a former Marine who was separated from a very special service dog.

Chewie is one of Virginia Beach's best police dogs and his services are in high demand. So is his affection!

Daryl Johnston served on a seven-month deployment with the lab, and through Facebook searched to see if he could get the dog back.

Once Johnston found out Chewie was wearing a new uniform, he knew the dog had to stay at his new job.

"It feels like you're so close to being able to have him in your life again, but I know what he's doing is what he was made to do," Johnston said.

Johnston is now in college in East Texas and has been looking to replicate the bond he had with Chewie, even adopting, Kemo, a former service dog in December.
Recently he located Kemo's combat buddy, and is set to give the dog back soon.

"It wasn't really like a tough decision," Johnston said. "It's like this calm just came over me and I knew it was the right thing to do."

After hearing about Johnston's hardship, and the heartbreak of not getting Chewie back, a fundraiser was established so Johnston could get a new dog.

Chewie's new owner, Virginia Beach police Sgt. Chris Tull took action by donating.

"We all kind of take care of each other and look out for each other," Tull said. "It's kind of a brotherhood there so when I found out that they were raising money through the Facebook page, I just kind of felt compelled to help out and do what I could."

"It's hard to believe that there's actually good people still out there that are willing to do that kind of stuff for you and are appreciative. It's just really good to see," Johnston said.

The best part is the puppy! Johnston is set to get on in the fall and it will be from Chewie's breeder.

Johnston hopes to come to Virginia soon to be reunited with the dog that he has an indescribable bond with.

"It's just one of those things where you started thinking of the dog as like your child and not just a tool that the Marine Corps gave you work with," Johnston said.

Given how close the two were, Chewie won't be the only one who'll have a tough time holding back the excitement.

Daryl Johnston Chewie puppy fund


Facebook helps former Marine find service dog in Virginia Beach