We at Petsies love to give back to our community. We recognize that pets are much more than animals; they are our family members. Pets can be extremely intelligent, and many become service animals, dedicating their lives to helping people in need. Last year, we partnered with our local police department to donate 3 Petsies to K9 officers who owned service dogs. The look on the officers’ faces when they saw their plush dogs was priceless.
More recently, we were made aware of a story in Alabama that caught all of our attention. A Facebook page had been created to help find a man’s lost service dog, Tito. On the fourth of July, 2017, a firework show frightened Tito, causing him to run away. He has been missing ever since.
Tito Means Everything to His Owner
Tito is the service dog to former Marine, Simon Flarity. Simon was originally stationed in Washington D.C. and went on through two separate deployments to Iraq. After that he was stationed in Georgia, where he first adopted Tito.
Tito wasn’t even housebroken when Simon adopted him, so he applied him to a program which trains service dogs for wounded veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Since the program, Tito has been assisting Simon for 10 years.
Since Tito ran away, Simon has felt empty. In his interview with Alabama Living1, he says,
“This is the most helpless I’ve ever felt in my life”.
He went on to create a Facebook page called Finding Tito to keep members of his community informed, as well as to ask for help with the search. Today, the page has nearly 20,000 likes.
That’s Where Petsies Comes In
After stumbling upon the page, we knew we had to reach out and do our part to help find Tito. While we could only do so much with the search of Tito, we knew we could create something that would provide a little comfort for Simon. A local resident sent photos of Tito and we created a Petsies stuffed animal lookalike for Simon. We couldn’t wait to see his reaction!
Here is the Petsie:
When Simon received the stuffed animal dog, he made a video where he introduced the Petsie to his new puppy. Watch the video below:
We were so honored to create this gift for Simon, and we eagerly await Tito’s safe return. Simon was so thankful for this gift. He shared,
“It’s a beautiful feeling, to hold a replica of a lost love one. The detail, is amazing.”
While the search for Tito continues, Simon refuses to give up hope. He regularly updates Tito’s Facebook page, and people keep sending in photos that they think may be him. With everyone working together, hopefully Tito will come home soon!