After tragedy strikes, officer finds comfort in therapy dog - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

After tragedy strikes, officer finds comfort in therapy dog

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
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(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
KENNETT, MO (KAIT) -

A Kennett police officer who has spent many years being called a hero now has support from others, including his furry friends.

Tragedy turned Captain Tony Smiths life around a little over a week ago.

We were fishing and decided to change spots and the next thing I know I was in the bottom of the boat.

Smith found himself trapped underneath the boat, leaving him with a spinal injury, memory loss and a near death experience.

He is now in a St. Louis, Mo. hospital happy to be alive but learning how to do life all over again.

He's always been our cheerleader, and now it's time for us to be his, Smiths daughter, Paige Crafton, said.

Crafton said the past week, her father has spent many days learning how to walk again.

I spent eight nights beside him in the chair, she said. It was hard leaving him at rehab.

Crafton said her usual independent father has come a long way with the help of many therapists.

However, a special therapist has tugged on Smiths heart. His name is Bullet, also known as Smiths therapy dog.

Nope, I never thought that an animal would be here helping me, Smith said during a phone interview.

Hes kind of placed his faith in animals, and in essence, hes had faith in this the whole time.

As an officer, Smith has spent many days working hand-in-hand with the Kennett Humane Department by saving and rescuing neglected dogs, victims of animal abuse.

Now, Bullet is comforting Smith at his hospital bedside, which Crafton said the role reversed.

It's kind of a pay-it-forward type thing, she said. You get what you give sometimes. I feel like he's getting what he deserves.

Smith expects to go home in a week; however, he has to leave Bullet behind.

His daughter and the community are coming together to hopefully find Officer Smith a permanent therapy dog. 

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