Austin man searches for missing service dog - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Austin man searches for missing service dog

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Imagine walking down an uneven sidewalk, with sticks in your way and cars zipping by. Now imagine it without using your eyes.

"The dog just takes you around all that stuff. You never even know it's there," Mark Vanlaningham said.

Vanlaningham has relied on a Seeing Eye dog for the past 14 years.

"I'm actually totally blind with the exception that I can see light," he said.

Rosey, a long-haired golden retriever is his service dog.

"She's an awesome dog, with an awesome personality," Vanlaningham said.

Rosey is missing.

"I had a friend come over to borrow my truck. I told him well, I need to take a shower, why don't you just take the truck. Later on we were gonna go run an errand to get me some shoes, so I called for Rosey and that's when I found out Rosey was gone," he said.

It took him an hour to realize his best friend was gone.

"I have three dogs in the house. I hear them all the time and I just didn't realize that I wasn't hearing Rosey," Vanlaningham said.

Vanlaningham thinks his friend may have left the front door ajar and Rosey wandered outside for the first time in their two years together as a team.

"You see, if she was looking for me and she seen my truck leaving, well the truck would be her link to me," he said.

Rosey has black spots on her tongue and a large, noticeable bump on her side.

FOX 7 asked, "Are you worried that maybe you're not going to find her?"

Vanlaningham answered, "I'm scared to death of it and you'll make me cry if you keep this kind of questioning up."

"She has a chip," he said. "She had tags, but she chewed 'em off."

That worries him because without those tags, there's no way to know she's a leader dog for the blind.

"She would just be this gorgeous dog that you'd just want to nab up," he said.

Rosey was last seen at Vanlaningham's home on Red Cliff Drive, near Lamar Blvd. in north Austin.

"I want my dog back," Vanlaningham said. "I'm just praying that if somebody finds that dog, they don't try to make it their own pet."

Rosey is more than a pet. She helps Vanlaningham fulfill his job duties every day.

They're a duo. He's got her leash around his neck, so it's ready for her, when she comes back home.

Vanlaningham filed a report with the Humane Society and the local animal shelter.

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