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15-Year-Old Hannah Westmoreland, of Quinlan Texas, got by each day with help from her four-year-old Golden Retriever service dog, Journey.
Westmoreland has diabetes, and Journey was trained to detect when her blood sugar was dropping.
But Westmoreland’s life came crashing down when her beloved Journey was shot outside their home while he was cooling off in a pond. They believe the shooter was riding a four-wheeler or dirt bike.
With tears in her eyes, Westmoreland held her dying pup’s head on her lap as she kissed him goodbye and told him it was going to be okay.
Journey was rushed to the animal hospital, but sadly succumbed to the gunshot wound.
“The day Journey died, for the first time in my life, I couldn’t figure out how good could come from something so awful,” Tina Westmoreland, Hannah’s mother, told NBC 5. “Journey was pretty special. He really was a special part of our family.”
Journey being gone left a void that the family thought they’d never be able to fill.
But good things finally started coming their way when Amy Novacek and her husband, Jay Novacek, former Dallas Cowboy, heard about Westmoreland’s story.
Amy, who also has a service dog due to a car crash, breeds service dogs through their ‘Novacek’s 84 Labradoodles Breeding Program.’
The Novacek’s kindly gifted Westmoreland a new service dog, whom she named Joey.
In addition to getting Joey at no cost, he will also be getting trained for free also, thanks to All Purpose Canines Inc.
Joey will definitely help fill the void that the Westmoreland’s thought could never be filled, but they still want justice for their beloved Journey.
The family has made a Facebook page called Justice4Journey, to keep the public updated on their search.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating and searching for the person responsible for fatally shooting Journey.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest in the shooting of Journey. If you have any information, please call Hunt County Crime Stoppers at 903-457-2929.