It’s always terrifying to have a pet go missing — but when you rely on them for medical help, it makes the situation even more dire.
That’s just what happened to Ohio resident and Army veteran David Barlet recently. Barlet’s German Shorthair Pointer, Gunter, was out on a walk with his mom on July 3 when fireworks nearby caused him to bolt. Despite searching and putting out calls to the community, Gunter was nowhere to be found.
Barlet was heartbroken — and not just because his best friend was missing. As someone with epilepsy, Barlet depends on Gunter to help alert him when he is about to have a seizure.
Near the end of his 33-year career with the Army, Barlet was diagnosed with epilepsy and learned that dogs can actually be trained to detect seizures. Instead of falling down and potentially hurting himself, Barlet is warned by Gunter when he’s about to have a seizure so he can get somewhere safe.
“Typically, they will alert you before you have a seizure and I don’t know how they do it, but it’s pretty amazing when you see it happen,” Barlet told Fox 8. “What I’ve seen in the past is that they’ll let you know and they kind of herd you towards a safe place, you know the couch or the bed, or even just get down on the floor, so you don’t fall down.”
The relationship between Gunter and Barlet is a special one and helps keep Barlet safe, so when Gunter went missing, it was a full-on search. The family put up posters and posted online about the pooch — and he was gone for two days before a miracle happened.
As part of the search for Gunter, an 11-year-old boy was outside in the woods when he started hearing whimpering noises. Surely enough, when he got his parents and followed the noise, he stumbled upon Gunter, whose leash had gotten caught up on a small tree, stranding him there.
Gunter was just less than a mile from the Barlet home. And thanks to the young boy, he is now safe and sound back with his family.
“When I got out of the car, Gunter was just racing towards me as fast as he could,” Barlet said.
It’s hard to tell who was more relieved to be reunited: Barlet or Gunter. Barlet is unbelievably thankful for the 11-year-old boy for helping search for Gunter — all for a family he didn’t even know personally.
“Someone that he didn’t even know was hurting and was in need, and so he did that and I tell you I can hardly see the kid without really getting emotional, he’s very, very special to us,” Barlet said.